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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 23, 2010

Date published:
October 23, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Becker, Swart join HTC women's team

    Carla Swart (Lees-McRae College) was a big part of her team's season win
    Article published:
    October 22, 2010, 23:19 BST
    Cycling News

    German champion, South African team's latest additions

    The HTC-Highroad women's team added two new talents to its 2011 roster: German champion Charlotte Becker and the young South African talent Carla Swart.

    Becker, 28, had a successful 2010 road season, adding victory in the Spanish World Cup race, GP Ciudad de Valladolid to her German road race title and silver medal in the national time trial championship.

    "I am happy that I have the chance to ride with HTC-Highroad," said Becker "I think it's a great team, and it has been a long-time dream for me to ride for this team. I had a good season this year and signing on with HTC-Highroad is the perfect conclusion. I hope that I will be a helpful part of the 2011 season."

    "Charlotte will be important to our team's success since she will strengthen our classics squad and our time trials," commented Sports Director Ronny Lauke. "She is top ten in the world ranking, and she still has a lot of potential for future success."

    Swart, 22, is a South African citizen, but has been demonstrating her multi-disciplinary talents in the US, where she attended Lees McRae college. She's won collegiate titles in road, mountain bike, cyclo-cross and track, and placed in the top 10 in the 2010 UCI World Road Championships in Melbourne.

    "I'm thrilled to join this team, with its veteran riders and all the team has to offer. It's a great opportunity and I look forward to contributing to the team's success in 2011," said Swart.

  • Omega Pharma-Lotto 2011 completed by Sieberg

    Marcel Sieberg celebrates his teammate's win.
    Article published:
    October 22, 2010, 23:54 BST
    Cycling News

    German follows Greipel to Belgian team

    The Omega Pharma - Lotto team completed its 2011 squad and assembled all of its members in Deinze, Belgium yesterday. Amongst the new recruits was German Marcel Sieberg. The 28-year-old followed André Greipel to the Belgian squad from the HTC-Columbia team.

    Sieberg, a professional since 2006, was the 14th new recruit for Omega Pharma-Lotto. Also new to the team are Belgians Jurgen Van De Walle (Quick Step), Frederik Willems (Liquigas-Doimo), Klaas Lodewijck (Topsport-Vlaanderen), Gert Dockx (HTC-Columbia), Sven Vandousselaere (Jong Vlaanderen), Bart De Clercq & Jens Debusschere.

    Also coming across with Sieberg and Greipel are Adam Hansen and Vicente Reynes from HTC-Columbia, David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet), Jussi Veikkanen (FDJ) and Oscar Pujol (Cervélo).

  • Olympic champion Armstrong to return

    Golden farewell: Kristin Armstrong finished off her Olympic Games career on top.
    Article published:
    October 23, 2010, 0:36 BST
    Cycling News

    American comes out of retirement for 2011

    American Kristin Armstrong will return to competition in 2011, following a year off in which she gave birth to her son, Lucas William.

    Armstrong won the 2008 Olympic Games time trial in Beijing and followed that performance with a second time trial world championship in 2009 to add to her 2006 title.

    The 37-year-old spent her year away from competition working with the Peanut Butter & Co./Twenty12 team, and will return to race with that squad with an eye toward the 2012 London Olympic Games.

    "I love cycling and I love competing. I stopped racing after the 2009 World Championships not because I was burned out, but because my husband and I wanted to start a family,” Armsrtong said, according to KTBV news in Boise. “I told myself from the beginning if everything went smoothly with the birth of our son, Lucas William, I would consider racing again.”

  • Riccò confirms collaboration with Sassi for 2011

    Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) smirks on the podium.
    Article published:
    October 23, 2010, 10:28 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Italian to undergo testing at Mapei centre

    Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) has announced that he will be coached by Aldo Sassi and avail of the testing facilities at the Mapei training centre in Castellanza. Sassi, who recently claimed that he could guarantee that the riders he coaches are not doped, had made no secret of his desire to work with the controversial Riccò.

    Riccò met with Sassi in Castellanza on Thursday in order to discuss their collaboration. The Italian rider will undergo his first tests at the Mapei centre in early November, before beginning his winter training in earnest under the stewardship of Sassi, who also coaches Ivan Basso and Cadel Evans.

    Riccò’s press release explained that he was encouraged to meet with Sassi after reading an interview the latter gave to La Gazzetta dello Sport at the world championships in Australia. Sassi spoke of his willingness to train Riccò, in spite of his tarnished image. Riccò tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France and was suspended until March of this year.

    “I know that with [Riccò] I would risk my reputation but sometimes you have to step up for an important objective,” Sassi said in Geelong. “If somebody doesn’t do it and doesn’t believe in this sport, how can things change?”

    Sassi is already the personal trainer to seven riders: Basso, Evans, Dario Cioni (Sky), Cameron Wurf (Androni), Kjell Carlström (Sky), Charlie Wegelius (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Eros Capecchi (Footon-Servetto). He played an active role in Ivan Basso’s attempts to gain credibility by agreeing coach the rider at the Mapei centre as he began his comeback from suspension for his involvement in Operacion Puerto. The Lampre and Katusha teams also use the Mapei centre for testing.

    Sassi is currently fighting cancer, and according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, he finished Thursday’s meeting with Riccò by...

  • Contador opts not to ride Oviedo criterium

    An emotional Alberto Contador during his press conference in his home town of Pinto
    Article published:
    October 23, 2010, 11:07 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Spaniard will not race until case is resolved

    Organisers of the Criterium de Oviedo have announced that Alberto Contador will not take part in their race on October 30. It is understood that the Spaniard will not participate in any events while awaiting a verdict on his adverse analytical finding for Clenbuterol at the Tour de France.

    At Friday’s Criterium de Oviedo race presentation, organisers had suggested that Contador would participate. However, a source close to the rider was quick to deny the rumour, telling Biciciclismo that, “at no time did Contador have the Criterium de Oviedo or any other criterium scheduled, as clarification of his situation by the competent bodies is pending.”

    A subsequent statement from the race organisers confirmed as much: “Alberto Contador will not take part in the Criterium de Oviedo, as the rider wishes to maintain a strict and respectful inactivity while the UCI comes to a decision on his case.”

    However, Ezequiel Mosquera, who returned an adverse analytical finding for Hydroxethyl starch at the Vuelta a España, is still expected to ride the criterium. Like Contador, he too is awaiting a verdict on his case.

    The Criterium de Oviedo will be José Luis Rubiera’s farewell event as he retires after 16 years as a professional. Along with the controversial Mosquera, a number of other big names of the Spanish peloton will be present, including Samuel Sanchez and Carlos Barredo.

  • Schumacher to face fraud charges

    Stefan Schumacher (Miche) is back after suspension.
    Article published:
    October 23, 2010, 13:46 BST
    Cycling News

    German could be liable to pay €150,000

    Stefan Schumacher (Miche) is to face charges of fraud from the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor’s office. The charges relate to the German rider’s positive test for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France, when he rode for the Gerolsteiner team.

    It is understood that Schumacher had signed an agreement with his then team manager Hans-Michael Holczer to repay his salary in the event that he tested positive and damaged the image of the Gerolsteiner team. If the public prosecutor finds against him, Schumacher would be forced to pay €150,000, a figure equal to his salary for July, August and September 2008, his final three months with Gerolsteiner. Holczer was already questioned by the prosecutor’s office in August of this year.

    “Mr. Schumacher contractually agreed to comply with the doping rules and not to cheat. He denied any manipulation, and Mr. Holczer has appealed. Thus, from our point of view, criminal damage has been caused," Claudia Krauth, a spokeswoman for the public prosecution, told Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

    Schumacher’s lawyer Michael Lehner has criticised the proceedings. “This is an athlete who has been punished to the maximum extent in sporting law,” he said. “What does the state want there? I don’t know the motivation behind it.”

    When contacted by the Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Schumacher said that he was surprised by the matter but was concentrating on cycling.

    Schumacher parted ways with the Gerolsteiner team in October 2008 after his positive test at the Tour was announced. In April 2009, it was revealed that he also returned a positive sample for CERA at the Beijing Olympics. Schumacher served a two-year suspension at returned to racing with Miche in August 2010.

  • Gesink's father dies as result of mountain bike crash

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) will race with a broken bone
    Article published:
    October 23, 2010, 14:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider skipped Lombardy to be with his father

    Robert Gesink's father has died from the effects of a cycling crash. The Rabobank rider had withdrawn from the Tour of Lombardy earlier this month to be at his father's side.

    The elder Gesink suffered a serious crash in the Bart Brentjens Challenge, a mountain bike ride in South Limburg, the Netherlands, on October 10. Robert Gesink, who had won the Giro dell'Emilia the day before, returned to the Netherlands immediately.

    The riders, team leaders, management and staff of the Rabo Cycling Teams and sponsor Rabobank are shocked by this sad news and wish Robert and all his family all strength in coping with this heavy loss,” the team said on its website.

    Cyclingnews extends its condolences to the family.

  • Giro d'Italia 2011 route unveiled in Turin

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo).
    Article published:
    October 23, 2010, 16:12 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Race to celebrate 150th anniversary of Italian unification

    The 2011 Giro d'Italia will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, with a mountainous route that looks set to exalt a possible duel between Vincenzo Nibali and Riccardo Ricco.

    Race director Angelo Zomegnan revealed the route in Turin, where the three weeks of racing will begin on Saturday, May 7 with a 21.5km team time trial.

    The corsa rosa concludes with a 32.8km individual time trial that finishes in the shadow of the spectacular Milan Duomo on Sunday, May 29.

    In between the 3496km route heads south to Sicily for a mountain finish on the slopes of the Etna volcano and then returns north along the Adriatic coast before a long series of testing stages in the Dolomites and a grand finale on the dirt road climb of the Colle delle Finestre near Sestriere.

    Route details

    The official route guide given out in Turin describes the 2011 Giro as 'the toughest race in the most beautiful place'. The 2011 Giro certainly looks the toughest race on the map, with 40 major mountain climbs and seven mountain finishes.

    The route visits 17 of the 20 regions of Italy during the three weeks of racing. After the team time trial in Turin, stage two heads to Parma and then Reggio Emilia and then heads south down the Tyrrhenian coast, with a finish in the Tuscan port of Livorno and via the Umbrian town of Orvieto after a 13km section of dirt road in the final 50km of the stage.

    The first mountain finish is at Montevergine di Mercogliano near Naples. It is where Damiano Cunego won in 2004 and first indicated he would go on to dominate that Giro.

    The Giro touches the toe of the Italian peninsular after a week of racing with a finish in Tropea and then takes the ferry to Sicily for a mountain on the slopes of Etna. The Giro climbs the...