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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 17, 2009

Date published:
October 17, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Olympic champion Cooke signs with German squad

    Great Britain's Nicole Cooke took the Olympic title in Beijing
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 16:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Briton to head team Nürnberger

    Reigning Olympic road champion Nicole Cooke signed with Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung team for one year, the team announced Friday. Cooke is looking forward to leading the German squad, which she called "the strongest international team". The German squad will be called Skyter-Shipping in 2010.

    The 26-year-old had a brilliant 2008 season, in which she won both the Olympic title and road World Championships, but her 2009 season saw only a few wins: the British Championships, a stage and the overall of the Giro del Trentino and two stages of the Lurreta-Emakumeen Bira. It was a far cry from the usual results of the two-time World Cup overall winner, who has been one of the most successful women cyclists of all time.

    The Briton's season was stymied by a virus in July, she said. "I had to take a long break in July due to a virus, and after that I was not at my usual form." She dropped out of the World Championship road race.

    She is looking forward to a rejuvenation with the team in 2010, and a chance to regain her rainbow stripes. "I want my World Championship title back again in Australia!"

    The Commonwealth Championships in India and the World Cup are also on the Briton's radar.

    Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed.

  • RadioShack gets ProTour license

    Lance Armstrong (Astana) at the 2010 Tour de France presentation
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 18:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    UCI awards Armstrong's new team

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) awarded the new RadioShack team of Lance Armstrong a four-year ProTour license on Friday.

    Upon completing the examination of the team's request for a ProTour license, the UCI's License Commission granted the license effective from 2010 through 2013. A ProTour license guarantees entry into all ProTour events.

    Lance Armstrong announced on July 23, during the Tour de France, that the American company RadioShack would sponsor his new team for the next two years. He secured long-time team manager Johan Bruyneel to make the switch with him from team Astana. Many of his other Astana teammates are following him to the new squad.

    RadioShack will start racing at the Tour Down Under in January in Australia. For the team, the other possible early races, according to Armstrong, include the Tour of Murcia, Paris-Nice, La Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

    Confirmed members of the new RadioShack team are Levi Leipheimer, Sergio Paulinho, Janez Brajkovic, Chris Horner, Bjorn Selander, Sam Bewley, Markel Irizar, Jose Luis Rubiera, Daryl Impey, Ivan Rovny, Ben Hermans, Gert Steegmans, Yaroslav Popovych, and Grégory Rast

    In recent weeks, another new team, Team Sky, was awarded a four-year ProTour license while French outfit AG2R La Mondiale had its license extended until the end of the 2012 season. The Italian squad Lampre was awarded a four-year license, while the German team Milram was given ProTour status only through the 2010 season. On the other hand, ProTour licenses have been denied to the French teams Cofidis, le crédit en ligne and Bouygues Télécom.

    UCI rules allow a maximum of 20 ProTour licenses. As Cyclingnews reported in September, in addition to the ProTour teams, three Professional Continental squads, Diquigiovanni, Cervélo TestTeam and Acqua e Sapone, will be guaranteed entry into the 2010 ProTour events by merit of...

  • Steven De Jongh joins Team Sky

    Steven De Jongh (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 19:03 BST
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Dutchman appointed as Sports Director

    Dutchman Steven De Jongh will join Team Sky in the New Year as Sports Director. The experienced 35-year-old ended his professional racing career at the Giro del Piemonte on Thursday.

    De Jongh had raced for the Belgian Quick Step team for the last four seasons and is known for his victories and consistent results in the cobbled races in Northern Europe.

    "I feel perfectly at ease about retiring now as a rider, because I'm really exited about joining Team Sky," said De Jongh. "It's a fantastic project and I think that they have given me the chance of a lifetime to become a part of it. I have a lot of ambitions about the sport, and I'm looking forward to being a part of a team that is starting up and will bring something new and different in cycling."

    "It's totally new for me to take on this role, but I'm confident that I bring some experience and that I'll be working with great riders and fantastic colleagues at Team Sky."

    When he announced his retirement in July, De Jongh had hinted that he might stay involved in cycling. "I will quit, but that doesn't mean I won't be active in cycling anymore - in what kind of function I don't know yet. I have some time to make a decision," he had said.

    "Steven brings a lot of knowledge about the classics and the tough one-day races and will be a real asset to Team Sky," said the head of Team Sky David Brailsford. "He has the right character and personality to be an excellent sports director, and with him, we have another great addition to our management."

    "He's a good communicator and has always been a highly-respected rider. I'm convinced that his hands-on knowledge will fit in perfectly with the technical staff we have for the classics and the other important races in our program," said Brailsford. "We want to build up our management with people with a broad spectrum of qualifications combined with the right attitude about working together. I'm convinced that Steven is the...

  • 2010 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar announced

    The Joe Martin stage race returns to the 2010 NRC calendar
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 20:48 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Three new events for top US series

    USA Cycling announced its 2010 National Racing Calendar, which will feature 27 events in its 14th year. The list is similar to last year's calendar, missing only the Amgen Tour of California Women's race and the Hanes Park Classic. Two new events were added to the calendar, one in New Jersey and one in Virginia.

    The men will have 25 races, eight of which are not NRC ranked for women, while the women will compete in 19, two of which are women-only.

    The calendar kicks off with the long-running Redlands Bicycle Classic, March 25-28 then heads down the Pacific coast to scenic Dana Point, California for the men's-only Dana Point Grand Prix on April 11.

    On April 17 the east gets its first race at the Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Alabama, which no longer overlaps with the popular Tour of the Gila stage race, which runs from April 28 to May 2, in Silver City, New Mexico. The Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas, will follow on May 6-10.

    The NRC then heads to the northeast for its traditional block of one-day races including the Wilmington GP and Kelly Cup on May 22 and 23. The series will see two new races, the Basking Ridge Twilight Grand Prix in Basking Ridge, New Jersey on May 26 and the Richmond Twilight Grand Prix in Richmond, Virginia on June 3, with the nation's oldest bicycle race, the Tour of Somerville sandwiched in between on May 31.

    With the second-biggest prize list on offer at nearly $115,000, the three-day omnium of criteriums, Tulsa Tough will take place June 4-6 in Oklahoma.

    The women-only Liberty Classic is scheduled to take place in Philadelphia on June 6, while the Clarendon Cup will go off June 12 in Arlington, Virginia, just ahead of the Tour de Winghaven, now both a men's and women's NRC event, in St. Louis on June 13.

    The peloton will next move to the Midwest for the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota, June 16-20. After a brief break from racing another fan-favorite, the Manhattan Beach...

  • Operación Puerto delay scandalous, says McQuaid

    One of the blood bags from Fuentes' clinic
    Article published:
    October 16, 2009, 21:23 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Case could drag on through 2011

    Both the UCI and WADA have spoken of their frustration following Spanish media reports today that the Operación Puerto trial will continue until at least 2011.

    UCI President Pat McQuaid and WADA director general David Howman have both made clear that they are not happy with the delay, which would appear to prevent sanctions against most athletes in the near future.

    "We would have hoped that it would happen a lot sooner," McQuaid told Cyclingnews on Friday evening. "We have said from the beginning that the Spanish authorities didn't really want to get to the bottom of this. If this [the reported delay] is true, it is more evidence that is the case."

    Howman also voiced his concerns about the lack of progress. "WADA continues to be very frustrated by the slow wheels of Spanish justice in this case," he told Cyclingnews.

    Operación Puerto began in on May 23 2006 when raids on the offices of Dr Eufemiano Fuentes in Madrid led to the seizure of medical records, bags of stored blood and numerous doping substances. Some of the biggest names in the sport were implicated, including Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso and Alejandro Valverde.

    Ullrich and Basso were both prevented from starting that year's Tour de France, with the former retiring and the latter later going on to serve a suspension. There have been no major repercussions for Valverde, although earlier this season he was banned by CONI from competing in Italy for two years and was unable to ride the Tour de France as a result. The race went into Italian territory on stage 16.

    The Vuelta a España winner is facing two CAS hearings in connection to the Puerto case, with the first of these to take place on November 16th and dealing with that...

  • Roche uncertain about Lombardy chances

    Nicolas Roche (AG2R)
    Article published:
    October 17, 2009, 2:48 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Irish champion looking forward to season's end

    Nicolas Roche had a good showing in the Giro del Piemonte, netting 12th place, but he is unsure what to expect in Saturday's Giro di Lombardia.

    The Irishman's feeling the effects of a long season and is hoping that he can raise his game for the final race of the year, posting a decent result before taking a break.

    "I have no idea how it will go," the Ag2r La Mondiale rider told Cyclingnews. "Last week I was feeling okay but I came up short in both races on the last lap [he was 68th in the GP Beghelli and 50th in the Giro dell'Emilia]. I was good on the penultimate lap but then on the last lap I ended up with nothing.

    "Piemonte was good enough but apart from the last 30 kilometres, we never went full gas. It was always medium speed all day. That was okay for me. I think Lombardy is quite hard in relation to my condition, but I am going there with the morale of knowing that it is the last race of the season. I want to try to get all the way down to Como in the best condition."

    An aggressive, attacking rider, Roche won the Irish road race championship in June and wore the white and green jersey with pride in his first Tour de France. He was primed for good results; his best stage finish a second in Besançon, with another three top 10 placings resulting in his sixth in the points classification and 23rd overall in Paris.

    That was the high point of the year, but while his results haven't been plentiful since then, the 25-year-old plays down the suggestion that he hasn't been able to match his July form.

    "I had a good month in August," he said. "I crashed in San Sebastian but [until then] I was with the front group with about 25 of us left.

    "Then in Hamburg I was away in the last 15 kilometres with Gilbert, but it didn't work out. In the Tour du Poitou Charentes, I was ninth and 11th on stages. Okay, it wasn't quite the form of the Tour, but I was competitive."

    A crash in the Tour of Britain...

  • Haussler still considering nationality switch

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) at the Tour de France teams presentation.
    Article published:
    October 17, 2009, 11:45 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    German rider undecided about possible Australian future

    Attending the launch of the Tour de France for the first time in his career on Wednesday, Heinrich Haussler was an impressed guest with ASO's show in Paris.

    The winner of stage 13 at this year's Tour, Haussler wasn't afraid to admit the occasion motivated him. "When you watch this, you definitely want to come back next year," he said.

    At some stage during his flamboyant 2009 season, the Cervélo rider, who finished second in Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders considered skipping the Tour next year - the course of the world championships in Geelong will suit him to perfection and he had it in mind to ride for Australia, the country dear to his heart.

    "He's a guy who speaks English with the same sort of accent as I do but I've had no notification of his availability for the Australian team next year," said Neil Stephens, who coordinates the professional road cycling for Australia and therefore directed Cadel Evans to his country's first professional world championship title.

    In June and July this year, Haussler firmly said he'd ride for Australia; in recent months that view has softened. "It's something I haven't decided 100 percent yet," he acknowledged in Paris. "The UCI has its rules and I have to give back my German citizenship.

    "Once I give it up, I can't get it back. I have to sit down with my family. We'll decide towards the end of the year," he explained.

    The son of a German father and an Australian mother, Haussler chose a German licence to build up his cycling career with Gerolsteiner. There's pressure from the German cycling federation for him to remain a German while Australia isn't trying to lure him over, although he'd virtually be the Australia-born cyclist the most likely to succeed Evans in Victoria.

    Haussler will return to Inverell, New South Wales, where he grew up, for two weeks in early November. He plans to repeat the preparation of the 2009 season that radically changed his...

  • Vandenbroucke died of natural causes, says Senegalese doctor

    Frank Vandenbroucke in 2004
    Article published:
    October 17, 2009, 13:57 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Pathologist finds double blood clot in lung led to death Monday

    Frank Vandenbroucke died in Senegal of natural causes, according to an autopsy conducted by the country's pathologist.

    Staff at a seaside Hotel Maison Bleue in Saly (70 kilometres south of Dakar) found the Belgian cyclist dead Monday. Vandenbroucke, 34, travelled to Senegal on Sunday for vacation with a cyclist friend, Fabio Polazzi.

    The Segalese pathologist confirmed the findings of the first doctor, death from a pulmonary embolism. "To be more precise: a double pulmonary embolism plus an existing heart condition," Thies prosecutor Salobe Ngingie told L'Equipe.

    Senegalese police arrested three persons Tuesday in Thies for stealing Vandenbroucke's money (300€), a watch and the two telephones. One person was Seynabou Diop, the prostitute who spent the night with Vandenbroucke, her pimp and the taxi driver that drove her to meet Vandenbroucke Sunday.

    Diop left Vandenbroucke's room at 2:00, according to the hotel staff. She will unlikely face murder charges due to the doctor's findings, according to L'Equipe.

    "The autopsy showed several injections marks in his left arm," said Ngingie. Police found a syringe, drugs and alcohol in Vandenbroucke's hotel room.

    Police will send Vandenbroucke's body in the coming days to Belgium. The Funeral has yet to be scheduled.

    Vandenbroucke turned professional in 1994. He won Gent-Wevelgem, Paris-Nice, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Omloop Het Volk.