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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, June 27, 2009

Date published:
June 27, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Riccò to return with Ceramica Flaminia

    Riccardo Riccò came close but got no cigars. Nonetheless, his season was impressive for the youngster.
    Article published:
    June 26, 2009, 14:06 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Banned cyclist finds team for 2010 return

    Italy's Riccardo Riccò, 25, will make his return to cycling in March 2010 with Italian team Ceramica Flaminia. He is currently serving a 20-month suspension for doping because he failed a test at the 2008 Tour de France.

    Ceramica Flaminia is the home of Italian Champion Filippo Simeoni. It is registered in Ireland and is a second division, or Professional Continental team. Team manager Roberto Marrone's new directeur sportif, Omar Piscina, helped sign Riccò.

    The contract is valid through 2011and will be made official tomorrow.

    Riccò tested positive for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) CERA July 8 at the 2008 Tour de France while riding for Saunier Duval. The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) announced the result on July 17, after he had won two stages.

    The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) gave him a two-year suspension last year. Riccò appealed the length to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and had the suspension reduced to 20 months. His suspension ends March 18, 2010.

    Riccò will be able to return to racing at Italian one-day classic, Milano-Sanremo, two days later. He will also be eligible to race the 2010 Giro d'Italia. He won two stages and finished second overall in the 2008 edition.

  • Wyss takes solo Race Across America

    Article published:
    June 26, 2009, 15:14 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Swiss rider unseats four-time champion Robic

    Swiss endurance rider Dani Wyss won the 2009 Race Across America, finishing the 3021.3 mile journey from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland in eight days, five hours and 45 minutes on Thursday night.  It was the second fastest crossing in the history of the event, and the second victory for Wyss who also won in 2006.

    Second placed rider Jure Robic had yet to cross the line on Friday morning, having given up hope of making up 60 minutes in penalties given to him during the race.

    The pair were separated by a mere five minutes after 2900 miles of racing, but over the course of a hot and muggy afternoon on Thursday, Wyss came within a minute of Robic at the time station in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

    The pair reached the next check in the same time, but only Wyss continued on to the finish line in Annapolis, leaving Robic defeated in Mt. Airy, Maryland.

    Robic has until Monday to complete the distance which, as of Friday morning, was a mere 54.6 miles away for the Slovenian.

  • Silence-Lotto names Tour roster

    Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2009, 16:00 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Cadel Evans will captain Belgian ProTour squad

    The Silence-Lotto team announced on Friday its full nine-rider roster for the Tour de France. Cadel Evans, 2008 Tour de France runner-up, will captain the Belgian ProTour team in his bid to claim the yellow jersey in Paris.

    Joining Evans on the squad are Dutchman Thomas Dekker, Belgians Jurgen Van den Broeck, Johan Vansummeren, Greg Van Avermaet and Staf Scheirlinckx, Frenchman Mickaël Delage, Australia's Matthew Lloyd and Germany's Sebastian Lang.

    Sebastian Lang has recovered from his crash at the Dauphiné Libéré and will take part in the German road championship on Sunday after finishing sixth at the German time trial championship on Friday.

    Roy Sentjens and Charles Wegelius have been named as reserves.

    The team will be managed by Marc Sergeant, Herman Frison, Hendrik Redant and Roberto Damiani.

  • Contador to Tour rivals: "I'm ready"

    Contador is aiming for the Tour
    Article published:
    June 26, 2009, 20:23 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Spaniard claims national time trial title

    Spaniard Alberto Contador sent a strong message to his Tour de France rivals on Friday when he blasted to his national time trial championship victory: in short, it read, "I'm ready".

    The Astana rider powered through the 47.8km course in 1:04:40, putting in an heroic effort over the final 20km to reverse a one-second deficit to Caisse d'Epargne's Luis León Sánchez. By the finish line, Contador had pulled out an extra 37 seconds for good measure to claim the right to wear his national colours at the opening stage of the Tour de France in Monaco on July 4.

    The race was the final test for Contador before the Tour, and a last chance to put his new prototype Trek TTX time trial bike through the rigors. It is clear that both passed with flying colours.

    For a rider who was happy to crack the top ten in time trials even in the year he won the Tour de France, Contador's improvements in the discipline have been nothing short of remarkable.

    His best result in the race against the clock in 2007 was a second place in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. On the way to taking home the maillot jaune in the Tour that year, Contador was 15th in the prologue, sixth in the stage 13 test and fifth on the penultimate stage which was good enough to keep the overall lead.

    In 2008, Contador showed improvements in this area, taking 2nd, 4th and 11th in time trials in the Giro d'Italia on his way to the overall victory. After placing fourth in the Olympic Games TT, he went on to show a decided improvement in the Vuelta a Espana, claiming second and fourth in the two individual tests.

    This year, his skills in the art of suffering alone have brought him to the top of the results sheet on now four separate occasions and over a variety of distances.

    In February, he bested French TT champ Sylvain Chavanel on the way to the win in the 33.7km Tour of Algarve TT. In March, he stunned the cycling world by beating...

  • Columbia-Highroad leaves Greipel home for Tour

    Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2009, 21:01 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Winning sprinter passed over in Tour de France selection

    Team Columbia-Highroad will head to the Tour de France with a balanced team, but while the squad is clearly focused around proven stage winner Mark Cavendish, there is one fast man who will not be a part of his lead-out train: André Greipel.

    The German has won 10 races for the team so far this year, accomplishing this impressive feat even after taking several months off from racing after being injured in a crash at January's Tour Down Under. More recently, he took three stages of the Ster Elektrotoer after claiming the win at the Philadelphia International Championship.

    Team Columbia-Highroad is expected to announce its full roster for the Tour de France on Monday. Greipel is the second surprise absentee for this year's event revealed this week, after the Cervelo TestTeam announced last year's stage winner Simon Gerrans wouldn't feature in its squad, built around defending champion Carlos Sastre.

    The 2009 Tour de France gets underway on July four with a 15.5 kilometre individual time trial in Monaco, held on the streets made famous by the historic Formula One event held in the city annually.


  • Horner reveals logic behind Astana Tour selection

    Chris Horner (Astana)
    Article published:
    June 26, 2009, 21:32 BST
    Daniel Simms

    American was denied exit from contract to find another team

    American Chris Horner seemed to be a sure bet for Astana's Tour de France roster. After all, he put in a brilliant performance as a mountain domestique in the Giro d'Italia before exiting early after a crash with a broken tibia.

    Yet when the team announced its final roster earlier this week, the Oregon resident was not on the list. Upset at the prospect of missing one of his last opportunities to race in the sport's big show, the 37-year-old's first reaction was to try to leave the team and find another squad which would bring him to the Tour.

    Writing on his blog on, Horner revealed the inner workings of team manager Johan Bruyneel's choice of nine riders for the Tour.

    "Knowing there was no reason to get upset with Johan, I hung up the phone after thanking him for what I knew was a hard call to make, and for the fighting I knew he had done on my behalf with sponsors and riders on the team to get me on," Horner wrote.

    Chalking up his exclusion to politics, he explained that one spot had to go to a Kazakh rider to please the team's sponsor, who scrambled to keep the team afloat after its financial crisis.

    The top four riders on the team were given expected spots: Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloden.

    Horner explained that Haimar Zubeldia and Yaroslav Popovych were selected early as support riders, leaving two spots on the team. The first went to Gregory Rast, who is "a big guy who could help tackle the flats", and Horner thought he would surely get the final place on the team.

    Instead, the place was given to Sergio Paulinho, who was Contador's choice as a support rider.

    Horner did not place blame on Bruyneel, instead he thanked him, saying to his fans, "don't be too hard on him -- he has a difficult job and was stuck in an impossible position."

     Cyclingnews was unable to reach Bruyneel for comments on his...

  • Tour de France: Team roster summary

    Article published:
    June 29, 2009, 8:00 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Cyclingnews' update on the rosters for all 20 Tour de France teams


    Full team confirmed: Maxime Bouet, Sylvain Calzati, Brice Feillu, Romain Feillu, Eduardo Gonzalo, David Le Lay, Geoffroy Lequatre, Christophe Moreau and Nicolas Vogondy.

    AG2R La Mondiale

    Full team confirmed: Jose-Luis Arrieta, Cyril Dessel, Hubert Dupont, Vladimir Efimkin, Stéphane Goubert, Lloyd Mondory, Rinaldo Nocentini, Christophe Riblon and Nicolas Roche.


    Full team confirmed: Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, Andreas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Dmitriy Muravyev, Sergio Paulinho, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast and Haimar Zubeldia.

    BBox Bouygues Telecom

    Full team confirmed: Yukiya Arashiro, Pierrick Fedrigo, William Bonnet, Saïd Haddou, Laurent Lefèvre, Alexandre Pichot, Pierre Rolland, Thomas Voeckler and Yuriy Trofimov.

    Caisse d'Epargne

    Full team confirmed: David Arroyo, Rui Costa, Arnaud Coyot, Ivan Gutiérrez, Luis Pasamontes, Oscar Pereiro, José Joaquin Rojas, Luis León Sánchez and Rigoberto Uran.

    Cervélo TestTeam

    Full team confirmed: Inigo Cuesta, Volodymir Gustov, Heinrich Haussler, Thor Hushovd, Andreas Klier, Brett Lancaster, José Angel Gomez Marchante, Hayden Roulston and Carlos Sastre.

    Cofidis Le Credit en Ligne

    Full team confirmed: Stéphane Augé, Samuel Dumoulin, Leonardo Duque, Bingen Fernandez, Christophe Kern, Sébastien Minard, Amaël Moinard, David Moncoutié and Rémi Pauriol.

    Team Columbia - HTC

    Full team confirmed: Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel,  Bert Grabsch, George...