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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, March 3, 2012

Date published:
March 03, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Rosseler struggling to make Garmin-Barracuda classics line-up

    Sébastien Rosseler (RadioShack) is the 2011 Three Days of De Panner victor.
    Article published:
    March 02, 2012, 12:34 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian returns from broken collarbone

    Sébastien Rosseler has admitted that he is facing an uphill struggle to force his way into Garmin-Barracuda’s line-up for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix after his injury-stricken beginning to the season.

    The Belgian suffered a broken collarbone shortly after his arrival at the team in January and only made his debut at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday. Rosseler abandoned the race after he was dropped on the Kruisberg. He also abandoned Wednesday’s GP Le Samyn.

    “I had the impression I was feeling ok during the reconnaissance of Het Nieuwsblad, but that wasn’t the case at Kuurne,” Rosseler told La Dernière Heure. “I was quickly dropped on the Kruisberg. In cycling, there are no miracles after such a long absence from the peloton. After I was dropped, I didn’t have the desire or the strength to get back on.”

    On his arrival from RadioShack, Rosseler had not raced since June’s Tour of Luxembourg due to a recurring knee injury and he admitted that his morale had been dealt a blow by his most recent setback.

    “I had really worked hard to get back to a good level, so having to stop again because of this clavicle fracture was hard to swallow. After that, I had to work hard again, especially so as not to gain too much weight. So it’s hard for me to be positive at the moment.”

    Given his current state of fitness, Rosseler is only on the fringes of Garmin-Barracuda’s classics line-up. “It was a mistake to abandon at Kuurne because that’s not the way to get back into form quickly,” he said....

  • Gallery: Five years and still going strong for Bissell

    Jeremy Vennell and a bundled up Carter Jones
    Article published:
    March 02, 2012, 15:30 GMT
    By:
    Lyne Lamoureux

    Pipp, Barton, and Jacques-Mayne get rid of their winter legs

    Embarking on its fifth year with its title sponsor, the Bissell Pro Cycling Team is smaller; at only 11 riders, younger; with only four over 27, but has more depth according to directeur sportif Omer Kem.

    "I am super excited about it," Kem told Cyclingnews on a chilly morning at the team training camp in Santa Rosa, California. "Last year we had a deep team in terms of having guys that could be three guys in the top 10 but I think this year we're looking better. The team looks strong and they're motivated, they know that they're going to get to race."

    Kem and team manager Glen Mitchell added two new under 23 riders to a core of nine returning riders for the 2012 season for a total of 11 riders, five less than last year. Though the split of the USA Cycling road calendar to National Racing Calendar (NRC) and National Criterium Calendar (NCC) didn't have a major impact on the roster, Kem admits to looking at improving the sprint train especially with reigning US Pro Crit Champion Eric Young returning to the squad.

    "We have never really been a criterium-focused team. It was really important to me to keep Eric, I think that he's a huge talent for the Bissell team and we want to see him develop as a sprinter and so in building a roster, even with the split happening, I added guys who I thought could be part of that lead-out. We showed at the stage races that we could control a race from the front if we needed to and when we wanted to. And I want to continue that progression as a team and win a lot of races." Kem explained.

    Looking for a repeat in Michigan

    Joining the team mid-way through last season, Young surprised many with his speed and wins, including taking the Stars and Stripes. But he knows that this year he...

  • Martin: Paris-Nice route is not ideal for me

    Tony Martin in his new Omega Pharma-Quickstep colors
    Article published:
    March 02, 2012, 17:32 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    German downplays chances of repeat win

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) lines up at Paris-Nice on Sunday as defending champion, but the German insists that the 2012 course is not best-suited to his characteristics.

    Twelve months ago, Martin used the flat time trial around Aix-en-Provence as the springboard to overall victory, but this time around, the main time trial is the short uphill test on the Col d’Eze on the final day.

    “It’s always very difficult to repeat a victory, especially as the course isn’t ideal for me, with two short time trials,” Martin told the DPA news agency. “But my form is good, and we have a strong team, and between me, Leipheimer and Chavanel, there are a lot of tactical options.”

    While Omega Pharma-QuickStep has enjoyed a remarkable run of early-season victories, Martin is still waiting to get off the mark for 2012. He showed flashes of his form at the Volta ao Algarve in February, but finished second behind Richie Porte after losing out in the time trial to his Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins.

    After wresting the world time trial crown from Fabian Cancellara last autumn, however, Martin was widely tipped to take the yellow jersey on the first day of the Tour de France, but he was quick to downplay the idea that victory in the Paris-Nice prologue would augur well for July.

    “They are two very different things,” Martin said. “The circumstances and the pressure of the Tour are much greater.”

    During his time at HTC-Highroad, Martin was an integral part of Mark Cavendish’s lead-out train. In spite of his lofty status at his new team, he aims to repeat the feat for Tom Boonen in the coming week.

    ...
  • 2012 Tour de France gets longer time trials

    Cadel Evans (BMC) blazed to glory with a smoking fast performance in Grenoble
    Article published:
    March 02, 2012, 17:53 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Changes make more than 100 kilometers against the clock

    The organisers of the Tour de France have added even more distance to the time trials of the 2012 event, tacking another five kilometers to bring the total of the three individual tests to 101.5km.

    Technical director Jean-Francois Pescheux said that after surveying the course for stage 9 from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon, originally a 38km test, and the 52km stage 19 from Bonneval to Chartres, it was necessary to alter the courses.

    Stage 9 will now run 41.5km, while the final time trial will be 53.5km in length. The 6.1km prologue in Liège remains unchanged.

    The change could be good news for defending champion Cadel Evans, who put 2:31 into rival Andy Schleck in the final time trial of the 2011 Tour de France.

    Schleck has vowed to improve his capabilities against the clock, giving himself the aim of losing only 20 seconds over 40km this time around.

     

  • Video: Vacansoleil wind tunnel testing

    Lieuwe Westra on his Bianchi time trial bike
    Article published:
    March 02, 2012, 21:52 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Wout Poels and Lieuwe Westra testing

    Last month the Vacansoleil-DCM team touched down in France with Aero Concept Engineering on the racetrack at Magny-Cours for two days of intense wind tunnel testing.

    Wout Poels, Lieuwe Westra, Gustav Larsson and Thomas de Gendt logged a total twenty hours of crucial testing between them and believed they had come away with a number of improvements for the season ahead.

    In this video, Poels, Westra and team director Jean-Paul van Poppel all explain the merits of wind tunnel testing and some of the lessons learnt.

  • Giacoppo confident in form ahead of Taiwan

    Going well: Anthony Giacoppo has progressed nicely for Andrew Christie-Johnston and his Genesys Wealth Advisers team. After a good year in 2011, Giacoppo has begun 2012 with a bang winning a stage of the recent Jayco Bay Cycling Classic series and now striking gold in Ballarat.
    Article published:
    March 02, 2012, 22:50 GMT
    By:
    Alex Hinds

    Asian test a prelude to NRS for West Australian

    Off the back of overall victory at the recent Perth Criterium series in his home state of Western Australia, Anthony Giacoppo says that his form and confidence levels are at an all-time high ahead of his Genesys Wealth Advisers team's first foray to Asia for 2012 at the Tour de Taiwan.

    Just two months in, Giacoppo's season has been one of superlatives, and while the 25-year-old is realistic ahead of the high level of competition in Taiwan for the seven stage race, he also has ambitions to continue his strong results.

    "There are a few selective stages that suit the more versatile riders, and there I think I can definitely make a difference there," said Giacoppo. "On those smaller climbs that’s where I think I can excel, and be in the mix for the win but we'll be taking it stage by stage."

    Team manager Andrew Christie-Johnston said the team had a lot of belief in Giacoppo.

    "Anthony quite possibly can win the whole Tour," said Christie-Johnston. "Looking at the profiles there are a few steep climbs along the way, so we’ll be doing some specific training on that kind of terrain ahead of the start. Anthony is someone who can climb really well, particularly for someone who is a sprinter. Whether it’ll be too steep in Taiwan, time will tell.

    "If you want to go WorldTour, you really can’t be a ‘pure’ sprinter, at least in Australian terms. A lot of people miss how well the fast guys at that level climb. Anthony can do that, and that’s something that’s gained him a lot of interest from other teams - and will make him a real threat for this race."

    Genesys Wealth Advisers for Tour de Taiwan starting March 10: Pat Shaw (Aus), Sam Davis (Aus), Alex Carver (Aus), Ben...

  • Could a lack of doughnuts really push Contador away from Riis and Saxobank?

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    March 03, 2012, 9:59 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    All involved deny suspended rider is dissatisfied with Saxo Bank

    Alberto Contador can return to racing in August, but the question still remains over which team he will join. The Danish media reported on Friday that the Spaniard may not wish to return to Team Saxo Bank but is planning to sign with Movistar – a report which was soundly denied by all parties.

    Contador's contract with Saxo Bank became void when he was given a two-year doping-related suspension.

    An anonymous source told the Danish newspaper BT that Contador was “displeased” with Saxo Bank and was therefore looking to leave the team. There were said to be three reasons for his dissatisfaction. One was the unsatisfactory sporting level of the team supporting him at the 2011 Tour de France, with another being his disagreement with the team's dietary recommendations and restrictions. Specifically, he was said to be denied the doughnuts he is fond of.

    He was also said to be unhappy with Bjarne Riis's “very controlling” method of running the team.

    Contador's brother and manager, Fran, was the first to deny the story, telling sporten.dk that “We will be in talks with Bjarne soon, and Alberto would like to continue working with him.”

    Saxo Bank denied there were any problems. “We have repeatedly said that we would like to continue working with Alberto when he can race again, and Alberto have clearly expressed that he sees things the same way. This is what we relate to, not rumor,” team spokesman Anders Damgaard told the Ritzau news agency.

    “We can honestly say we did not recognize the discontent, as one anonymous source now claims to...

  • Movistar announces line-ups for Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
    Article published:
    March 03, 2012, 11:24 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Valverde and Visconti lead while Cobo heads to Murcia

    The Movistar Team has announced their line-ups for Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico with the 2012 squad making their European WorldTour debuts at both races.

    The team is currently ranked second in the UCI WorldTour rankings after a strong showing at the Tour Down Under in January and although Jose Cobo will race the Tour of Murcia, the Spanish armada advance towards France and Italy with decent squads.

    Alejandro Valverde – second at the Tour Down Under – will lead the team in Paris-Nice and will be supported by by Jose Rojas, David Arroyo, Imanol Erviti, Vasil Kiryienka, David Lopez, Ivan Gutierrez and Javi Moreno.

    The team for Tirreno- Adriatico will be led by homegrown talent Giovanni Visconti but also includes Rui Costa, Pablo Lastras, Beñat Intxausti, Andrey Amador, Jose Herrada, Branislau Samoilau, Fran Ventoso.

    The latter race starts with a 17 kilometre team time trial but the queen stage will be Sunday’s stage, before a final individual time trial of 9 kilometres.