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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, November 27, 2010

Date published:
November 27, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • White expects results from eight former Fly Vs

    Fly V Australia's Jai Crawford from Tasmania has added some climbing legs to the impressive squad of riders from down under.
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 21:25 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Continental V Australia Pro Cycling Team to contend NRC events

    The Professional Continental outfit Pegasus Sports welcomed its 20-man roster, which includes eight riders who raced for the Continental team Fly V Australia this year, to an opening meet and greet held in Noosa, Australia this week. Team Manager Chris White assured that the riders who have upgraded from the Continental team are eager and equipped to handle the higher level of competition that the will inevitably face in major international events during the 2011 season.

    "We got here yesterday and it's going well," White told Cyclingnews. "It is the first camp for the year for the Professional Continental team. The purpose of the camp is just to get to know everyone and we have a significant number of new faces in the group. We are here to get our first lot of equipment and to get to know each other. We've done some good activities and some surfing which was good fun. We are here for one full week. So much of cycling is about teamwork and having strong relationships around communication, that's paramount."

    The eight riders that have stepped up from the Fly V Australia Continental team into the Pegasus Sports Professional Continental program include Australia's Ben Day, Bernard Sulzberger, Jonathan Cantwell, Aaron Kemps, Jai Crawford and South Africa's Darren Lill and Jay Thomson along with one American, Phil Zajicek. Those riders will have the rare opportunity to learn from veteran racers like Robbie McEwen and Robbie Hunter.

    "Some of the guys have mentors and are going to be racing with teammates that they can talk to and learn from," White said. "I think making that step up and learning is a big part of our structure that we have set in place. We are in a position now where those eight guys have some breathing room because we have brought on some great riders who have a lot of European experience and success from the pro peloton already. That will take some pressure off of those riders who are coming from Fly V Australia but we...

  • Elijzen to be sports director for Omega Pharma-Lotto

    Michiel Elijzen (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 21:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Netherlander retires from riding at age 28

    Michiel Elijzen is the next one to make the change from the bike to the team car. The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider will become a sports director at the team in 2011.

    Elijzen is retiring from riding at the age of 28, after only five years as a pro. The Netherlander moved up through the junior ranks at Rabobank, before signing with Cofidis in 2006. He then rode for Rabobank in 2008 before joining Lotto in 2009.

    He has two wins in his career, one is the prologue of the Eneco tour and the others is the Duo Normand, with Bradley Wiggins, both in 2007. He also finished second and third in the Dutch national time trial championship.

    Sports manager Marc Sergeant will have six sport directors in the coming year: Herman Frison, Dirk De Wolf, Marc Wauters, Roberto Damiani, Jean-Pierre Heynderickx and now Michiel Elijzen.

  • Contador submits defence documents

    Alberto Contador (Astana) on the road to Paris
    Article published:
    November 27, 2010, 9:35 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Claims no athletic improvement possible from small amount of Clenbuterol

    Alberto Contador has submitted his defence documents to the Competition Committee of the Spanish cycling federation, as he attempts to prove his positive test for Clenbuterol during this year's Tour de France was caused by contaminated meat.

    Contador accompanied his lawyers to the federation’s headquarters to deliver the documents, his spokesman Jacinto Vidarte told the AP news agency.

    "Contador has submitted all necessary documents to the Federation,” an unidentified source close to him told Spanish newspaper As.

    It is said that his defence includes pharmacological reports which say that 50pg Clenbuterol, as found in his doping control, would not improve an athlete's performance.

    He has also allegedly submitted new documentation which proves that the positive control resulted from his eating contaminated meat.

    It is not know when Contador's formal disciplinary hearing will take place but Contador hopes it will be by the end of the year. The three-time Tour de France winner faces a two-year ban if found guilty. In a interview with Spanish television, he has reaffirmed that he would retire from the sport if that happens. 

    He is expected to travel to Fuertaventura in the Spanish Canary Islands for his first training camp with Team Saxo Bank-SunGard that begins on Sunday.


  • Adrie Visser stays with HTC-Highroad

    Fast in recent sprints, Adrie Visser (HTC - Columbia Women) was sixth in this test against the clock.
    Article published:
    November 27, 2010, 10:28 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Dutch rider impressed in the Classics

     Classics and track specialist Adrie Visser has signed a new one-year contract with the women's HTC-Highroad team for 2011 as she looks to build on her successful 2010 season.

    The 27-year-old won a stage at the Thüringen Rundfahrt but also impressed with her aggressive riding in the Tour of Flanders, where she finished fifth. Visser also picked up a string of other results, something she is keen to build on in 2011.

    “This past year, my first with the team, went very well, with my stage win in the Tour of Thüringen, a spell in yellow in the Tour de L'Aude and second in the Swedish round of the World Cup,” she explained in a statement from the team.

    “I had a lot more opportunities than in previous years, and I took them. So that alone is a very good reason for me to stay with HTC-Highroad.”

    “I don't have any specific aims for 2011,” Visser indicated. “All I want to do is build on what I achieved in 2010, which was better than 2009.”

    HTC-Highroad directeur sportif Ronny Lauke welcomed the news of Visser's extension, pointing out her skills and future development.

    “In her first year here, Adrie has already become a backbone of the team and a great support rider,” Lauke said. “And at the same time she's really made progress in her specialist area, the Classics. She's a talented sprinter, too. She can read races well and is an ideal teammate. We're delighted she'll still be with us in 2011.”

    HTC-Highroad has recently announced that sprinter Ina-Yoko Teutenberg has signed a new two-year contract, while current German national champion Charlotte Becker will also ride with the hugely successful team in 2011. In October the team announced the signing of Americans Amber Neben and Amanda Miller. They will join Judith Arndt, Evelyn Stevens and Emilia Fahlin as HTC aims to build on another successful season in the women's pro...

  • Haussler prepares for Classics with Garmin-Cervelo

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) awaits the start of the Tour de Vendée.
    Article published:
    November 27, 2010, 11:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian back to Europe but off to the Caribbean on Sunday

    Heinrich Haussler has returned from the sun and beaches of Australia to the snow and cold in Germany, and is ready to for coming season. He is looking forward to his first meeting with his new team, Garmin-Cervelo.

    He spent a month at home in Australia, spending time with his family and getting “as much sun as I could,” he wrote on his personal website. Upon his return to Freiburg, Germany, he moved into a new apartment, but now is ready to think of 2011.

    On Sunday he will fly to the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean for the team meeting, and he expects to have, “a lot of fun there.” But after that things get more serious.

    Upon his return to Europe, he will head to St. Moritz, Switzerland, and as in the past few years, he will take to cross-country skiing.

    While he doesn't yet know what will be on his racing calendar for the new season, it is a safe bet that he will be at the Classics. After four rather anonymous seasons with Team Gerolsteiner, he burst into public attention with his last minute attack at the 2009 Milan-Sanremo, in the end losing narrowly to Mark Cavendish. He also finished second at the Tour of Flanders. Haussler capped the season by winning stage 13 of the Tour de France, soling in the last 40 kilometres into Colmar for an emotional win.

    The 26-year-old was unable to repeat his successes this year. A knee injury suffered in the Volta ao Algarve kept him out of not only the Spring Classics but also the Tour de France.

    Haussler struggled to ride with the damaged knee, but a crash in the finale of the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse – once again with Mark Cavendish – was the final blow. A few weeks later he underwent successful surgery and returned to racing at the Tour of Britain.

  • Phinney debates dropping track to concentrate on road with BMC

    Taylor Phinney flies down Paris Mountain at the US pro road championships.
    Article published:
    November 27, 2010, 12:12 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American world champion could concentrate on Classics in 2011/12

    Taylor Phinney has given his biggest hint yet that he may skip a track programme and concentrate entirely on the road in 2011. The American prodigy signed for BMC on a multiple-year contract in September this year and had a memorable season, winning 14 races including the US national time trial championship and world U23 time trial, while also retaining his crown in the U23 Paris-Paris Roubaix.

    The 20-year-old, who is now back in the US, told Cyclingnews that the burden of being a first-year pro with burgeoning Classics ambitions could mean that he may drop his track commitments for 2011 and even 2012 – meaning no defence of his world pursuit crown next year.

    “With regards to track that’s still up for grabs. I know that BMC really want to make a solid track bike, but as of right now I’m not 100 per cent what I’ll do. As a first year pro I want to give everything I can to the team, get into the groove of things and the track season is at an unfortunate time when you’re trying to peak for the Classics in March and April but we’ll see,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “There’s definitely a possibility of not riding the track next year. If I try to decide to jump into the road scene and work 100 per cent on that then there’s a chance that I wouldn’t go to the Worlds or do any track this year. I’m happy with my record on the track but just timing wise it could be difficult if I’m trying to peak for something like Flanders or Roubaix. I’ll weigh up my options but it’s still a couple more months off.”

    With the individual pursuit, an event Phinney has dominated for the last two years, off the Olympic programme for the London Games, there’s also the possibility that he may focus on the road in 2012 too.

    “With the pursuit out, that really changes my level of motivation for the track. Also winning the U23 world...

  • Traksel looks to combine Australian sport and European culture

    Bobbie Traksel (Vacansoleil) triumphs at the end of an epic Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne
    Article published:
    November 27, 2010, 14:54 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dutch rider attending Team Pegasus training camp

    Bobbie Traksel has entered a new world with his transfer from Vacansoliel to the Pegasus team and he likes what he is experiencing in Australia at the first training camp for the new Professional Continental team.

    "After a long journey from the Netherlands to the other side of the word, I felt like I ended up in another culture,” he told the Dutch newspaper Omroep Gelderland.

    "Australia is very sports-minded, and everyone is extremely motivated, but also very relaxed. They live differently, but also very professionally.

    The challenge for the 29-year-old Dutchman is to combine things to his advantage. “I'm going to try to mix this sport and the European culture and thus become a better rider.”

    He has no doubt about the team though. “I am also sure that this ambitious and talented team will surprise you.”

    Traksel turned pro with Rabobank in 2001. He also rode for, Palmans-Cras, and P§Transfer-Batavus before joining Vacansoliel in 2009. He won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this year, in a race which saw horrendous weather and only 26 of 198 riders finish.


  • Menchov has “no regrets” over Geox-TMC move

    Denis Menchov (Rabobank) secured third place
    Article published:
    November 27, 2010, 18:10 GMT
    Daniel Friebe

    ProTeam snub shouldn’t thwart grand tour ambitions, says manager

    Denis Menchov was “annoyed and disappointed” about his new Geox-TMC team’s exclusion from the UCI’s top tier of ProTeams earlier this week – but has no regrets about signing with Mauro Gianetti’s squad, says Menchov’s manager.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews on Saturday, Raimondo Scimone said that Menchov still hoped to compete in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2011.

    The UCI president Pat McQuaid insisted earlier this week that all 18 ProTeams will compete in the three major tours, leaving a maximum of four starting places for the organizers to award at their own discretion. Giro boss Angelo Zomegnan has already hinted that he may push for more freedom in granting invitations.

    Menchov, who will turn 33 in January, was the last man to crack the top five of both Giro and Tour in the same season. In 2008, he finished fifth overall in the Giro before taking third place at the Tour.

    “The lack of ProTeam licence for Geox shouldn’t ruin Denis’s season,” Scimone said. “I think we’ll more or less see Geox have a season like BMC’s or Cervélo’s in 2010 [when they rode five out of six major tours between them – Ed.]. He could miss out on the odd warm-up race but, logically, he should be OK.

    “We have no regrets about joining Geox,” Scimone continued. “In fact, we have total confidence in their project. Every team has a bedding-in period. BMC and Vacansoleil got their ProTeam licence in their second or third year…. That said, it’s disappointing for two main reasons: one, because a new and very important investor in the sport has been snubbed and, two, because Denis thought that his signing and Carlos Sastre’s had helped to bring the roster up to a level where their ProTeam status wouldn’t be in doubt.”

    In the sporting criterion list issued by the UCI on...