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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 15, 2011

Date published:
October 15, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • US team in Mexico for Pan American Games

    Alison Starnes (United States) was rewarded for her breakaway effort by taking the cobbles prize
    Article published:
    October 14, 2011, 23:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Skies clearing in Guadalajara for opening ceremonies

    Second only to the Olympic Games in stature, the Pan American Games are set to open in Guadalajara, Mexico just days after a category 2 hurrican slammed into the region, killing six in the country. But the skies are clearing and the Games are set to go forward with the first cycling events coming on Saturday, with the mountain bike competitions on Saturday, followed by the road time trials on Sunday.

    USA Cycling has sent a 16-rider team to the Games, which also include track events from October 17-20 and road races on October 22.

    Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing), Stephen Ettinger (BMC MTB Development Team) and Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) will take to the cross country course on Saturday, but there is no word what condition the trails are in following days of heavy rain.

    Road race national champion Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis) and Alison Tetrick Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY 12) will represent the USA in the time trial on Sunday, but only Farina will stay for the road race next weekend. No men were entered in the road events for the Games, which will help to qualify positions for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

    Qualificiation points are an important goal for USA Cycling's track squad. They will be represented by Cari Higgins (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY 12) in the women’s omnium as the sole endurance team representative.

    Dean Tracy, Michael Blatchford and Jimmy Watkins will compete in the men's team sprint. Blatchford and Watkins will also contest the individual sprint. Liz Carlson and Madalyn Godby will race the team sprint on the women’s side and Dana Feiss will compete in the individual sprint and keirin.

    The Canadian Cycling Association announced this week that David Veilleux will not compete in the men's road events due to fatigue, nor will Tory Nyhaug. Track riders...

  • Cobo and Geox nearing a new contract

    Juan Jose Cobo (Geox-TMC) celebrates his Vuelta a Espana triumph.
    Article published:
    October 15, 2011, 8:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Final decision expected this weekend

    Juan Jose Cobo is on the verge of signing a new contract with Geox-TMC. The team needs the Vuelta a Espana winner's signature as soon as possible, as it needs his points to qualify for a UCI WorldTour ranking.

    According to, Cobo's agent received the written offer on Wednesday, and after discussions with team manager Mauro Gianetti, made a counteroffer on Friday. Although there are “big economic differences to iron out,” a final agreement is expected this weekend.

    While the team very much needs Cobo, the rider has other options. He is said to have three other offers, including two from WorldTour teams.

    Ongoing negotiations had been stalled until recently. A meeting between sports director Josean Matxin and Cobo is said to have helped move matters along.

    Cobo, 30, has spent almost his entire career with Gianetti and Matxin, turing pro in 2004 and riding for the team under the various names of Saunier Duval, Scott-American Beef, Fuji-Servetto. The only exception was 2010, when he was with Caisse d'Epargne, before returning to the team now called Geox-TCM in 2011.

    Cobo won the Vuelta a Espana this year in a close duel with Sky's Christopher Froome and Bradley Wiggins. He also won one stage and the combination classification.

  • Wegmann with new team for 2012

    Fabian Wegmann (Leopard Trek)
    Article published:
    October 15, 2011, 10:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Says mood at Leopard Trek is still good

    Fabian Wegmann is one of the Leopard Trek riders who will be leaving the team at the end of the season. However, the former two-time German national road champion will not be leaving the sport, as he has a new team lined up.

    The Leopard Trek team is ending and will be reborn as RadioShack-Nissan-Trek in 2012. The merger of the two teams means that a number of riders have had to look elsewhere for rides in the coming year.

    Even with the end in sight, “The mood is really good, not like I have experienced it with other teams.” And that is something that the 31 year-old has experience with. He turned pro in 2002 with Team Gerolsteiner, which folded after the 2008 season after losing its sponsor. Wegmann then rode for Milram for two years, until its sponsor withdrew.

    “But this team isn't stopping at all,” he told “And things are continue me too,in any case. I can't say right now where, that is still to come – but I will absolutely stay in the professional peloton.”

    Wegmann's name has been linked with Team Katusha, where former Gerolsteiner manger Hans-Michael Holczer will serve as general manager as of 2012.

    This was the first season since 2002 that Wegmann has not won anything, but he noted that it had been a year of extremes, with the death of his roommate Wouter Weylandt at the Giro d'Italia followed by the arrival of his first child the end of June.

    “The birth of my son was a unique happiness, which you can look back on your whole life. But Wouter's death was a terrible blow, and the weeks and months following it were not always...

  • Boasson Hagen aiming to win in both Tour de France and Olympics

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) in red
    Article published:
    October 15, 2011, 12:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky rider with unique plan to stay in form between events

    Edvald Boasson Hagen plans to do well in both the Tour de France and the London Olympics, next summer, despite the fact that there is very little time between the two events.  His solution to the problem:  pretend that the Tour has another five or six stages.

    The Tour ends on July 22, and the Olympic is the following Saturday, July 28. 

    “We must not let down after it (the Tour) is over,” he told  “Just continue the hard rides as if the Tour de France has lasted even longer.”

    The 24-year-old is not willing to give up the Tour for the Olympics.  “The Tour de France is clearly an important goal for me next year,'” he said “I have shown  before that I'm still in shape after major stage races.”

    And while Boasson Hagen would like to win the Olympic gold medal, he knows that fellow Norwegian Thor Hushovd also wants to. “Whoever has the best results and and is in the best form must be given priority.”

    The Worlds road race was the Sky rider's final appearance of the year.  He has put his bike in the corner for the time being, and won't start training again until mid-November.  Boasson Hagen's first race of the new season is scheduled to be the Tour Down Under.

  • Bissell signs youth and experience in Jones and Barton

    The Bissell squad pushing the pace on the front.
    Article published:
    October 15, 2011, 14:38 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Team says goodbye to Andy Jacques-Maynes

    UCI Continental team Bissell Pro Cycling recently announced signing two newcomers, Carter Jones from Trek-Livestrong and Chris Barton from BMC Racing. The talented duo will add youth and experience to the domestic program during top-level stage races in 2012.

    Jones, 22, had a successful season under the guidance of Axel Merckx with the UCI Continental under 23 Trek-Livestrong team. He is a valuable member of the under 23 US National Team in overseas stage races. He comes with ample experience on the domestic circuit, having also competed under the UCI Continental outfit Jelly Belly p/b Kenda in 2010.

    “I moved from Trek to Bissell because Bissell will allow me to enter higher level races to further my development,” Jones told Cyclingnews. “I am unsure of what my role will be with Bissell, the team has a very experienced group of leaders that will be able to guide me through the season. The past two years I have had some big ups and downs, but next year I would like to be reliable throughout the season.”

    Jones’ ambition is to improve his ability and bring consistent top performances during stage races under the guidance of several potential mentors on the Bissell roster. The team recently announced its roster to include US National Criterium Champion Eric Young, Ben Jacques-Maynes, Chris Baldwin, Frank Pipp, Jeremy Vennell, Chase Pinkham, Andrew Dahlheim, Patrick Bevin and Andy Baker. Noticeably absent from the roster is Andy Jacques-Maynes who has signed with a new team, to be announced soon.

    Barton, 23, brings ample experience to the domestic team having competed for the previous three season on the WorldTour circuit with ProTeam team BMC Racing. Both Jones and Barton will add to the team’s overall classification strength in both domestic level and UCI-sanctioned...

  • Gilbert comes up short at Giro di Lombardia

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    October 15, 2011, 18:15 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Belgian misses out on third consecutive win

    Short, steep climbs have been Philippe Gilbert's personal fiefdom throughout 2011, but the Belgian finally came up short on his favorite terrain at Saturday's Giro di Lombardia. Chasing a third consecutive victory in the season's most picturesque race, Gilbert floundered on race's last difficulty and could only manage eighth place behind winner Oliver Zaugg (Leopard Trek).

    The haul up to Villa Vergano in the finale seemed tailor-made for Gilbert's characteristics, but as the road narrowed and the gradient reared up to 15 percent near the summit, his much-anticipated attack never materialised. Instead, he was distanced as Zaugg bounded clear and Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) led the chase behind.

    "There were stronger riders, there's nothing to say," Gilbert told a huddle of reporters after crossing the line in Lecco 15 seconds down in the second chase group. "On a climb like that, the strongest are at the front and everybody is in his place."

    After being to all intents and purposes unbeatable in that kind of situation for over 12 months, it was striking to see Gilbert distanced by so many riders on the final climb. On top of his game through the spring and the summer, had he simply gone to the well too many times over the course of the season?

    "On the day, it's a combination of a lot of small things. In the end, it was a question of having a little bit less strength and less form than the others. And at this level, that's very costly," Gilbert said, smiling grimly.

    Earlier in the race, Gilbert had been part of a five-man break that formed after the descent of the Colma di Sormano. When Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) powered clear on the Madonna del Ghisallo,...

  • Video: Leopard-Trek backs Zaugg on way to historic Lombardia win

    Oliver Zaugg (Leopard Trek) pushes toward the finish
    Article published:
    October 15, 2011, 20:45 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Fuglsang and Zaugg part of Leopard-Trek's two-pronged attack

    All eyes were on Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) at the start of the Giro di Lombardia on Saturday morning, but the Belgian was left trailing when Oliver Zaugg (Leopard Trek) attacked on the final climb of the race and distanced all his rivals. It was another win for the underdogs who, Gilbert aside, have dominated the Classics in 2011.

    Zaugg followed in the footsteps of Matthew Goss (San Remo), Johan Van Summeren (Paris-Roubaix), Nick Nuyens (Flanders) and Greg Van Avermaet (Paris-Tours), wining Lombardia with a solo move almost as clinical and decisive as anything Gilbert has produced during his magical season of dominance.

    And at the start in Milan, it was only his own team who were willing to talk up the former chimneysweep's chances. As the riders huddled for warmth on the bus for the final time in the team's short but eventual history, their press officer waxed lyrical about Leopard's two pronged attack containing Zaugg and Jakob Fuglsang.

    Six hours later in Lecco and the same press officer was on hand to remind Cyclingnews of his prediction - only this time his smile was much broader.

    Fuglsang had also played his part, escaping earlier with a group of favourites before being caught ahead of the final climb.

    "I found myself in a group with some of the favourites," Fuglsang said at the finish.

    "We tried to make the race and it didn't work out, but in the end it was perfect for the team and I'm really happy for Oliver. He dropped everyone and took the victory."

    The Dane praised Zaugg's commitment to the Leopard cause, pointing to this year's Vuelta a Espana where Swiss...

  • Kirsipuu to lead Champion System Pro Conti Team

    Jaan Kirsipuu (Team Champion System) shows NJ he still has his form.
    Article published:
    October 15, 2011, 21:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Ojavee, Friedemann, Boillat step up from continental-level squad

    Jaan Kirsipuu will captain the Champion System Professional Continental Team, Asia's first UCI Professional Continental outfit during the 2012 season. Kirsipiuu, at 42 years of age, is showing few signs of slowing down.

    Following a lengthy pro career in Europe, which saw him take four Tour de France stage victories and more than 130 wins in all, Kirsipuu took a little time out. But, like many bike riders, he loved racing so much that he soon returned, but with the intent of combining racing with travelling; hence he rode onto the Asian circuit a couple of seasons ago.

    His passion for the sport and growing interest in the emerging Asian bike racing scene lead him to the Team Champion System Continental squad last year, where he took numerous victories; the highlight of which was a stage win in the UCI Asia Tour ranked Tour de Korea.

    Kirsipuu's experience and credentials are legendary, and he's proven to be a major influence on his less experienced Asian teammates. The Estonian will serve as an "in the saddle" mentor.

    Also stepping up from the continental team of 2011 is the current Estonian National Road Champion Mart Ojavee, a solid 31-year-old all-rounder who won several races this year, and finished 110th in the recent UCI Road Race World Championships in Denmark.

    German sprinter and rouleur Matthias Friedemann, 27, and Swiss all-rounder Joris Boillat, 28, also join the roster of transferred riders from the 2011 Champion System team. Both riders won races in the US this year - Tour de Pitman and Hills of Somerset RR respectively - and will add firepower and experience to the Anglo-Asian line up.

    The Asian contingent will be headed by Hong Kong's former national champion and 2008 Olympic Road race finisher, Wu Kin San, who previously rode as a stagiere with Lampre and then with the Continental Champion System...