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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, September 11, 2010

Date published:
September 11, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Kessiakoff uncertain about future at Garmin-Cervélo

    Fredrik Kessiakoff (Garmin - Transitions)
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 21:15 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Disappointing 2010 season comes to an end

    Fredrik Kessiakoff has brought down the curtain on his 2010 season and may leave Garmin-Transitions at the end of the year.

    The Swede signed a two-year deal at the start of the 2010 season, but after a disappointing year he faces the prospect of being shown the exit door after Garmin and Cervélo struck a deal that saw seven Cervélo riders join the American squad.

    With 28 riders already on their books, Garmin would be forced to reduce their own roster in order to fit within the UCI's 30-man limit. Svein Tuft, Trent Lowe and Ricardo Van der Velde have already confirmed that they will leave the team, while other riders are also rumoured to be leaving.

    "I have a two-year contract with Garmin so I am set but with these changes and these two teams coming in to one has changed things a bit. It's no longer 100 percent certain that I will stay," Kessiakoff told Cyclingnews.

    "I don't have more information on that right now. There is a possibility that I might change. That's all I can say out of respect to my current team and to any possible other ones.

    "When you have two teams coming together it changes a lot of things. What kind of riders there were with what there will be next year. You're squeezing 50 riders into 30 slots. There are many reasons why a change might happen.

    "I'm very, very happy with this team. It's nothing to do with the team it's more to do with how things will be next year. I have no reason to flick Garmin-Transitions, they've been quite supportive."

    The 30-year-old Swede's last race was over two weeks ago but after sitting down with his team both parties decided that he should end his season now. He crashed heavily in the Volta ao Algarve in the spring and was ruled out of the Giro, where he was meant to lead the team's overall ambitions.

    However, even before the crash Kessiakoff had felt short of form.

    "After the training camp I felt motivated for the...

  • Casarotto seriously injured in Giro del Friuli crash

    Thomas Casarotto
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 22:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian in intensive care after crashing into a car

    Thomas Casarotto of the Generali team is in intensive care after crashing into a car during the third stage of the Giro del Friuli Venezia Giuli, the race organisers announced.

    Casarotto was descending the Sella Ciampigotto when he struck the car, and was airlifted to a hospital in Udine. He is in critical condition with a cranial hematoma.

    "This is the kind of news that you never want to receive," said Casarotto's team director Roberto Zoccarato, who made the decision to remove the entire Generali team from the race. 

    "This is no condition in which to continue to compete: all of our thoughts have turned to Thomas, and we would not be happy in the peloton thinking that he is still struggling between life and death. We will take the numbers from our backs at least until Thomas is out of danger. "

  • New course for Univest GP

    The 2009 Univest podium (l to r): Patrik Stenberg (CykekCity), Volodymyr Starchyk (Amore & Vita) and Philipp Mamos (Amore & Vita).
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 22:19 BST
    By:
    Bike Radar

    Shorter, more technical circuit on tap for this weekend's ProAm

    The 2010 Univest Grand Prix scheduled for 11, 12 September pits top North American cycling teams against a strong contingent of rising international stars on a tough and technical new racecourse in Souderton, PA.

    Previously, Univest's long road race catered to climbers, but this year's edition features a new shorter course; 11 laps on a 5.8 mile course followed by 5 finishing laps on a 3.8 mile course.

    The new course gives fans 32 chances to see the peloton (from one location) is described as technical with short punchy climbs, which will likely favor a cagey all-round rider rather than a pure climber.

    Saturday's UCI 1.2 race is the final stop on the UCI America Tour Calendar and also part of the USA Cycling Pro Tour calendar.

    "The old course was great: it was long, it was hard, it was tough," said Joe McDermott, Univest media director to BikeRadar. "It forced these guys to muscle up a lot of hills. It was a romantic recreation of a great European one-day, but that really doesn't fly with American fans. American fans want the action right there in front of them. It would be akin to going down to the Eagles game watching the kick off, seeing both teams run out of the stadium only to come back at the end of the fourth quarter with a score of 33, nothing and you don't know how it got there (McDermott paraphrased this analogy from John Eustice the president of Sparta Cycling, Inc and promoter of the Univest Grand Prix)."

    This year marks the seventh anniversary of the Doylestown criterium, which offers 50 miles of fast-paced, circuit-style racing on a 1.4-mile course on Sunday.

    Italy's Amore & Vita team, with Ukranians Volodymyr Starchyk and Yuri Metlushenko – winners of the 2009 Souderton and Doylestown races, respectively – and Spidertech powered by Planet Energy's Lucas Euser, the 2008 winner in Souderton are among the cyclists returning to challenge a strong roster of international teams.

    "We...

  • Allan Davis on the right track for Worlds

    Allan Davis chats with former Rabobank pro Pedro Horillo.
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 23:52 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vuelta breakaway tests Australian sprinter's legs

    Allan Davis has yet to claim his first victory of the 2010 season, isn't concerned if his only win of the year is the world championship in Geelong on October 3rd.

    At the start of stage 13 in Rincon de Soto, the Queenslander told Cyclingnews that he was hoping for a bunch sprint following his top ten placing (7th) in Lleida the day before, but he was prompt to break away instead when the move of the day was formed after fifty kilometres. He knew his family was awaiting him at the finish in Burgos, which is the closest venue of the Vuelta to his European house in the Basque country.

    Davis's breakaway was caught with 5km to go, leaving him over two minutes behind in the high-speed dash to the line, but he did manage to take the day's first mountain prime, the Alto de Pradilla. More importantly, the efforts he produces on Spanish roads are an investment in his form for the upcoming world championships.

    Davis is one of the potential captains for the Australian national team when the Worlds takes place on its home turf. "As far as the world championship is concerned, everything is going according to the plan," the Astana rider said. "I'm just picking my days in the Vuelta and I'm recovering the best I can. The Worlds have definitely been my objective all year. Here, Gossy (Matt Goss) is riding really good, so we're ready to give our country a great shot."

    Two other Australians were seriously preparing for the Worlds at the Vuelta, but Simon Gerrans was out of the race after seven stages with his whole Sky team pulling out due to the death of their masseur Txema Gonzalez. Stuart O'Grady was sent home for disciplinary reasons by Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis after nine stages. They now have to compensate the race rhythm by intense training.

    "The Worlds after 260 kilometres of racing is a totally different story than a sprint in a stage race after 180km," Davis noted. "I definitely prefer long races like Milan-San Remo and...

  • Voeckler rethinks World Championships participation

    The podium: Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), Thomas Voeckler (Bbox) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    September 11, 2010, 0:01 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Quebec win inspires French champion to consider racing

    Thomas Voeckler may reconsider his decision not to compete in the upcoming UCI Road World Championships after his solo victory at the ProTour's Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City on Friday.

    The French national champion had previously ruled himself out of the running for the Worlds, which takes place in Geelong, near Melbourne, Australia on October 3.

    "I don't want to make a decision right away after such a great victory but obviously this might change my feeling," Voeckler said. "I will discuss it with the French team coach, Laurent Jalabert, and see what he thinks."

    Voeckler attacked a small front group that formed late in the race to take a solo victory ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) at the end of the challenging 198km circuit race.

    "The Quebec atmosphere gave me a lot of motivation," Voeckler said. "Despite the appearance, I did not train so much this season and didn't have my best training year and did not lead a healthy lifestyle. I think that shows that cycling is not an exact science."

    He admitted that the course in Quebec City is similar in style to a typical world championship course, however, it was much more challenging than the circuit which is planned for the elite men's race in Geelong.

    "For the time being, I'll stick to my decision that I'm not doing the World Championships," Voeckler said. "Especially because that course is much faster than it was here and could favor a faster rider, so we will see."

  • UnitedHealthcare adds Förster, Van Poppel and Meier

    Robert Förster (Milram)
    Article published:
    September 11, 2010, 1:59 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Team intends to compete roster with two climbers

    UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis has added three internationally seasoned pros to its roster for 2011: ProTour riders Robert Förster from Team Milram and Christian Meier from Garmin-Transitions along with Boy van Poppel from Rabobank Continental. The US-based team plans to upgrade to the Pro Continental level next year and is looking to complete its lineup with two mountain specialists.

    The Netherland’s Van Poppel, 22, is a former junior world cyclo-cross champion and the son of famed Dutch cyclist Jean-Paul van Poppel who is currently the directeur sportif of the Cervelo Test Team. The young Van Poppel is best known for sprinting and became noticed in the US when he won the fifth stage of the Tour of Missouri two years ago.

    "Boy is the perfect example of the kind of rider we want on our team because he is super talented, won a stage in Missouri and has been very successful in Under 23 races," said directeur sportif Mike Tamayo. "He has a lot of promise in development, much like the team as we are taking our first steps to Europe."

    Germany’s Förster, 32, is a sprint specialist who recently placed inside the top ten in three stages of the Vuelta a Espana. His list of results includes stage victories at the Spanish Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, Circuit de la Sarthe, Volta Algarve and the Deutschland Tour. He has previously race for Nürnberger, Gerolsteiner and is finishing off his 2010 season with Team Milram.

    "We’ve completed our roster as far as speed goes by adding Boy and Robert to our current sprinters and I’m excited about tying those guys in with Hilton Clarke, Jake Keough, Andrew Pinfold and Karl Menzies," Tamayo said. "Both these guys are well suited for races like Philadelphia. But our scheduled will be quite a bit European and they have a lot of experience there."

    Canada’s Meier, 25, is a former national road champion but he turned heads when he placed second at the...

  • Moncoutié prefers to work on weekends

    David Moncoutie (Cofidis) in the mountains jersey at the Vuelta.
    Article published:
    September 11, 2010, 9:29 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Frenchman targets third Vuelta polka dot jersey and more

    The Vuelta a España enters a new phase of difficult stages after two great bunch sprints dominated by Mark Cavendish and David Moncoutié realises that it's time for him to get back into the action.

    “I definitely prefer the weekend stages”, said the Frenchman who won stage 8 on Saturday and took a good lead in the mountains classification with another breakaway on stage 9 one week ago. He didn’t score any more points in the Pyrénées as only the top six was rewarded at the top of Andorra-Pal and the Cofidis rider finished seventh.

    However, he still enjoys a decent lead with 41 points while two Xacobeo-Galicia riders, Serafin Martinez and Gonzalo Rabunal, follow him with 36 and 25 points respectively, and race leader Igor Anton is fourth with 15 points.

    Xacobeo-Galicia’s David Garcia Dapena told Cyclingnews: “In theory, we’d be in an ideal situation to try and get the polka dot jersey back [Martinez led the competition before Moncoutié] but we’re racing against the strongest guy and I don’t see how we can send one of our riders away without Moncoutié to mark him.”

    “I keep being careful of both of them”, Moncoutié said. “But I don’t think they climb better than I do. The GC contenders are also dangerous for the mountain price, for instance Igor Anton and Ezequiel Mosquera. I’ll adjust my tactic to theirs. If they score a lot of points, I’ll have to compensate by going for a very long breakaway. For the polka dot jersey, the three coming stages will be crucial but I believe nothing will be decided until the uphill finish of Bola del Mundo in one week from now.”

    Moncoutié is inspired by the three coming stages: “I’ve been told that the final ascent to Peña Cabarga as something similar to the Mont Faron. I’ve won up the Faron in the past but once...

  • Sentjens confesses EPO use and retires

    The peloton is led up the Kemmelberg by Roy Sentjens (Team Milram).
    Article published:
    September 11, 2010, 10:51 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Milram rider blames pressures of searching for contract

    Roy Sentjens (Milram) has confessed to EPO use and announced his retirement from cycling with immediate effect. The Belgian returned a non-negative test for EPO on August 16. After initially denying any wrongdoing, Sentjens issued a lengthy statement on his personal website, in which he admitted doping and offered some explanations for his actions.

    “I haven’t asked for an analysis of the B-sample, because I know what it contains,” Sentjens said. “I want to say sorry to those who believed in me.”

    Sentjen’s Milram team already looked set to fold at the end of the season and he blamed the pressures of seeking a contract for next season for his use of EPO.

    “My season had been a disaster, I did everything but I couldn’t get it right,” wrote Sentjens. “I couldn’t sleep anymore, because I was thinking all the time about how I could improve. I did everything, but even that did not help, and I fell into a depression.”

    Sentjens failed to gain any significant results in 2010, which his best performance coming at the Tour of Austria, when he was 9th on stage 1.

    “I wanted a contract. I have a son, a new house, a car and I wanted to start a new life” he said. “I made a mistake. In a instant, I just stepped into my car, drove to Barcelona and parked in the city centre. I went was ready to go around the pharmacies where I might find EPO. At the second one, I had what I needed.”

    When Sentjens was tested on August 16, he was resigned to the inevitable. “I immediately knew what was going to happen,” he said. “I thus definitively declare that I’m putting an end to my career as a professional cyclist.”