TechPowered By

More tech

First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, May 8, 2010

Date published:
May 08, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Wiggins-Millar duel predicted for Giro opener

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 21:45 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Amsterdam time trial favors pure power

    In 2007, the British duel was predicted to take place between David Millar and Bradley Wiggins in the streets of London for the prologue of the Tour de France, but it never materialized. The pair may well prove to be the main protagonists of tomorrow's Giro d'Italia opener in another prestigious European city, Amsterdam.

    None of the 198 participants has been able to properly reconnoitre the course of the prologue of the 93rd Giro d'Italia because of the traffic in Amsterdam, but they have been speculating over the main qualities required to win the stage 1 time trial: is it speed or power? The riders will be able to ride on the course on Saturday morning, after which they'll be more aware of what to expect.

    Marco Pinotti, winner of the prologue at the Tour of Romandie last week, names Millar and [Alexandre] Vinokourov as time triallists he thinks will be strongest. "It's for pure chronomen," said the Italian engineer who took a few minutes before the presentation of the girini (the contenders of the Giro) to visit the Anne Frank museum.

    Several riders chose Team Sky captain Wiggins as their bet for the first maglia rosa.

    "Track riders like Wiggins who can travel at the highest speed have the biggest chances of winning," said Dutchman Rick Flens of Rabobank who is expected to perform well on home soil after finishing fifth in the prologue of the Tour of Romandie. As he hails from Oostzaan only ten kilometres away from the centre of Amsterdam, he's the régional de l'étape.

    "I've only seen a video of the course," Flens continued. "I know the corners but the long streets will make the difference. For riders like me who rely more on power, it'll be difficult to compete against the fastest guys, but I hope for a top 10. I also hope the weather will be the same for everybody and it will be a fair race. Amsterdam deserves to have such a great event."

    If not Flens, the best...

  • DC Giro organisers checking out Amsterdam

    The Giro DC 2012 working group: Mark Sommers with g4's Alice Armstrong, Kristen Reiss and Robin Morton
    Article published:
    May 08, 2010, 10:23 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    US capital hopeful of first Grand Tour start outside of Europe

    The Giro d'Italia is turning into a globe trotter. The 2010 version of the race starts today in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the tentative plans to stage the opening of the race in Washington, DC in 2012 are begging to take shape.

    The Washington, DC, race organisers have sent a delegation to Amsterdam, to get a feel for things. “It's been a productive trip so far,” Robin Morton of g4 Productions told Cyclingnews. “We are here with a mini-delegation of people from the D.C. agencies to look at the logistics, and to see what the people in Amsterdam are doing.

    “We met with the Amsterdam mayor's office, to see how they are handling things. We are finding out about their infrastructure and what events they are handling,” Morton said. There was also a meeting with a British air transport company regarding the intercontinental transfer of riders, officials and equipment.

    “We are making great progress in DC, and had hoped to have an official announcement here,” she said. “But they haven't yet said anything about 2011, so they can't announce 2012 yet."

     

  • Amgen Tour of California announce rosters

    Levi Leipheimer will seed a 4th Tour of California win.
    Article published:
    May 08, 2010, 10:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Stellar line-up confirmed including Armstrong, Cavendish and Leipheimer

    The Amgen Tour of California announced the 2010 field, with an impressive line-up including seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer. The race (May 16-23) will host 16 teams, comprised of 127 riders, from 23 countries.

    "We are proud of the powerful and talented group of international and domestic cyclists set to participate in the 2010 Amgen Tour of California," said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports.

    "From Tour de France champions to Olympic medallists and world champions, this field is one of the best that has ever competed on American soil. The growing reputation of the Amgen Tour of California has resulted in a very accomplished field of cyclists, which should make for a great race."

    The field will also include riders from, Team HTC-Columbia, Team Saxo Bank and Garmin-Transitions, who will all be competing to take the title in the overall team competition.

    For a complete start list for the Amgen Tour of California click here.
     

  • Can the Giro d'Italia help save Italian cycling?

    Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan
    Article published:
    May 08, 2010, 12:51 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Giro director tries to stay optimistic after Pellizotti case

    The Director of the Giro d'Italia, Angelo Zomegnan hopes three weeks of exciting racing can help Italian cycling recover from a long series of doping scandals that have rocked the Giro in recent years and decapitated the list of former winners.

    Riders of the calibre of Ivan Basso, Danilo Di Luca and Riccardo Riccò have all had problems and undermined the credibility of the Giro, while the announcement of Franco Pellizotti's recent biological passport problems last week has caused further damage to the appeal of cycling in Italy and around the world.

    Zomegnan is convinced that things are gradually improving and hopes that a possible three-way battle for overall victory between Cadel Evans, Ivan Basso and Carlos Sastre will inspire three weeks of thrilling racing.

    "It's a pity about what has happened to cycling in Italy but if we want to clean it up, there's a price to pay. If the price is high, we can perhaps hope the cleaning will go deeper," Zomegnan told Cyclingnews, just hours before the start of the 2010 race in Amsterdam.

    "Unfortunately, we're almost getting used things like this. I want to try and see the glass half full, rather than half empty. If there's something wrong with Pellizotti's biological passport, the UCI (International Cycling Union) have made the right decision to reveal it before the Giro d'Italia and not during the race, as I asked them to do."

    "I'm not talking specifically about Pellizotti but I'm sure that for every cheat that is caught and stopped riding the Giro, another hundred riders benefit from that."

    Doing its bit

    Zomegnan insists the race organiser RCS Sport is doing its bit to tackle doping and revealed that the number of controls and anti-doping inspectors on the race will be higher than ever before.

    "This year there are more anti-doping tests planned for the Giro than have ever been done on a Grand Tour. There will be 520, with two...

  • Colnago unveils new C59 at the Giro d'Italia

    The new Colnago C59 bike for Sacha Modolo at the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    May 08, 2010, 13:35 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sacha Modolo to use new road bike on Sunday

    Colnago-CSF Inox sprinter Sacha Modolo will be the first rider in the world to race on the new Colnago C59 frame at the Giro d'Italia.

    The talented Italian sprinter and revelation of this year's Milan-San Remo will use the special frame when he fights for victory in the first road race stage on Sunday from Amsterdam to Utrecht.

    Colnago-CSF Inox climber Domenico Pozzovivo will also have a C59, fitted with carbon fibre bars and stem, for the key mountain stages in the Giro d'Italia, but Modolo will give the C59 it's competitive debut. The bike will be officially presented later this year before being put into full production.

    The Colnago-CSF Inox mechanics carefully guarded the bike as they prepared the team bikes for the Giro d'Italia, but Cyclingnews was able to view Modolo's special C59 and capture some images of new machine.

    The frame employs a range of new, reinforced tube shapes, making it especially rigid and resistant to torsion under extreme efforts like sprinting. The fork has also been reinforced and the chain stays have an oversize, rectangular profile to keep lateral flex to a minimum.

    The C59 has internal routed cables, which emerge from a special slot under the bottom bracket before heading to the front and rear derailleurs. The bottom bracket area also has a flattened surface when the Shimano Di2 battery can be mounted.

    Modolo's bike is fitted with Campagnolo Record components throughout, with Deda bars and stem and a Prologo saddle. The bike has a white paint scheme and has been decorated with custom Giro d'Italia graphics for the Italian sprinter.
     

  • On the start line at the Giro d'Italia

    David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) heads out to test different tyre pressures
    Article published:
    May 08, 2010, 13:49 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Slippery conditions for the Amsterdam time trial

    The opening time trial stage of the Giro d'Italia began under grey skies and light rain on Saturday, making the technical 8.4 kilometre city centre course in Amsterdam a test of bike handling ability and nerve.

    The riders best at getting up to speed after the many corners will gain seconds each time, while those with the nerve to dive into the wet and off-camber corners are also set to reap important chunks of time.

    Andriy Grivko (Astana) was the earlier leader with a time of 10:31, while Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) was the first rider to crash on the slick roads.

    Before the start the team mechanics worked furiously on the rider's time trial bikes as they changed tyre pressure, changed wheel and finalized positions for the wet conditions and testing roads. The riders studied the course, wrapped in tights and warm jackets.

    Most people at the start area believed the wet roads and testing circuit now makes David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) the favourite to win the time trial. He confirmed to Cyclingnews that he gunning for victory whatever the conditions. He is convinced he now has an edge over the likes of Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), who may back off a little in the time trial to avoid putting their overall chances in the Giro at risk.

    We will find out later this afternoon. All the leading favourites start in the final hour of the time trial. Millar is off at 17:08 CET, Wiggins two minutes after at 17:10 and Vinokourov is off at 17:18. Andrei Greipel (HTC-Columbia) is last man to start at 17:34 CET.

    The fastest man will pull on the first maglia rosa of the 2010 Giro d'Italia.
     

  • No fear for Lewis in Grand Tour debut

    Craig Lewis (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    May 08, 2010, 14:39 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    HTC-Columbia rider hungry for team success at the Giro

    In his third year with HTC-Columbia, Craig Lewis will make his long-awaited Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia in Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon.

    "As early as September last year, we decided in a team meeting that it would be my main goal for 2010," the rider from Greenville, South Carolina, told Cyclingnews in the Netherlands.

    In 2008, Lewis missed what had been expected to be his Grand Tour debut when Team Highroad didn’t take part in the Vuelta a España. He then had to skip the Spanish event last year to return home for the US national championships.

    "I’m happy to be here," he said. "I’m not nervous. The race and the stages might be longer than what I’m used to, but it’s still the same guys out there. I’ve seen stages 19 and 20 with the big climbs, the Gavia and so… They are tough!"

    Lewis’ team, HTC-Columbia, is expected to be a prominent during the first week of the Giro, like last year when Mark Cavendish and Thomas Lövkvist both held the leader's pink jersey. The US squad also won six stages, including the team time trial, as well as individual stage victories for Edvald Boasson Hagen, Konstantin Sioutsou and Cavendish.

    "We don’t have a big favourite for the mountains, but Andre Greipel is up for some stage wins", Lewis said. "I’ve done Tour of Poland and Tour of Austria with him last year; I know his style. It would be great to ride in front of the bunch with my teammate in the pink jersey on my wheel during the first week. We’d like to defend it in the team time trial as well."

    "It’s always been a dream of mine to make it to this level of racing," said the 25-year-old American, who's known as former-teammate George Hincapie’s protégé. "Without [George] and his brother, I wouldn’t be here," he added. "It’s not only me but all the riders [on the team] who miss him as...

  • Millar disappointed to miss Giro top three

    David Millar (Garmin-Transitions)
    Article published:
    May 08, 2010, 18:29 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Garmin-Transitions aim for pink jersey with Farrar

    To finish seventh in stage one of the Giro d’Italia is below what David Millar expected in Amsterdam but he was far from devastated having given his all on the 8.4km course.

    When he crossed the line, he had the third best time behind Brent Bookwalter and Greg Henderson but by the time he managed to catch his breath and talk to reporters, Bradley Wiggins had stormed home with the fastest time. There were six seconds at the end between the two British time trial stars.

    “I went really well,” the Scot said. “But I’m a bit disappointed because I thought I could make the podium.” He had the tenth best intermediate time but he ruled out that he finished stronger. “The other people slowed down”, he said. “I was just consistent.”

    “I was cornering really well”, he said. “I went as good as I could. I had the same legs as at the Three Days of De Panne. Maybe these guys were too good, that’s it.”

    Millar won the time trials of the Criterium International and the Three Days of De Panne. He hasn’t taken part in any competition since Paris-Roubaix but had two weeks of solid training in Gerona before heading to the Netherlands.

    Garmin-Transitions directeur sportif Matt White said: “I’m very happy with David’s ride. He was very consistent on the prologue and he’s very close to the best times.”

    The US team still has a chance of taking the lead in the race and will aim to do so with sprinter Tyler Farrar. “But I would have liked Tyler (Farrar) to finish ten seconds closer”, White said. “To take the jersey before the team time trial, he now has to win a stage in Holland.” Farrar is 26 seconds behind Wiggins while other top sprinters like Greg Henderson and Andre Greipel have lost only 5 and 18 seconds respectively.

    With riders like Christian Vande Velde, and track specialists Jack...