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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, April 29, 2012

Date published:
April 29, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Busche's US Pro national champion's jersey to be auctioned for charity

    Matt Busche's national championship jersey is up for auction.
    Article published:
    April 28, 2012, 12:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Proceeds to benefit Ronald McDonald House

    2011 US professional road champion Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Nissan) has donated a signed, national champion's jersey to be auctioned off in support of the Ronald McDonald House.

    The auction is part of the New Jersey-based Heart House/CADV/CC Evesham elite cycling team's efforts, in conjunction with the BLP 2209 Grand Prix presented by Champion System, to raise money in memory of team member Ryan Pettit's six-year-old daughter Brianna, who died in October 2009 following surgery to correct a heart defect.

    The team is raising money for the Ronald McDonald House in Delaware where the Ryan Pettit and his wife Becky stayed during Brianna's time in the hospital. The house offers parents the opportunity to stay near the hospital where their children are being treated.

    "I am very happy to provide a signed jersey to auction for a great cause," said Busche. "The cycling community is nationwide, even worldwide, so being able to help this cause is certainly helping more than we know.

    "I hope the jersey will make good proceeds, but more importantly I hope the winner will realize how great their "win" really is. It will mean a lot to the parents of Brianna, as well as those who will receive help through the Ronald McDonald House. It is my honor to help out."

    Bids for Busche's jersey can be placed here:

    The eBay auction for the US champion's jersey concludes on April 30, 2012 at 1:00pm PDT.

  • Swift to focus on cycling road race at London 2012 Olympics

    Ben Swift in his new jersey.
    Article published:
    April 28, 2012, 13:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Briton rules himself out of team pursuit selection

    As he finalises his preparation for the 2012 Giro d'Italia, which starts in Denmark next weekend, Team Sky's Ben Swift has revealed that he has abandoned any ambitions to be part of the Team GB track team at the London 2012 Olympics and will instead focus his energy on qualifying for the road race team.

    The 24-year-old was part of the Great Britain team that went to the 2012 Track World Championships in Melbourne earlier this month, and he came away with gold in the scratch race and a pair of silvers from the madison and the points race. However, he wasn't part of the Great Britain team pursuit squad that won gold and smashed the world record and he has admitted defeat in his quest to force his way into that team ahead of the Games this summer.

    "I gave it my best shot," he told Cycling Weekly. "We decided straight from the off that we'd see how it goes at the World Cup and then reassess, and then see how it goes at the Worlds and then reassess again. I was disappointed not to ride [in the team pursuit], but then again it gave me the opportunity to ride the races I've always loved, it's nice to go out on a bit of a high.

    "I don't think there's much more I could have done. Now it's a case of giving myself enough time to try and get selected for the road team."

  • Keisse claims biggest road victory at Tour of Turkey

    "It's the end of a bad part of my life" said Iljo Keisse after his victory
    Article published:
    April 28, 2012, 20:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian overcomes near disastrous crash on final turn

    Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) scored the biggest road victory of his career in dramatic fashion during stage 7 at the Tour of Turkey. The 29-year-old Belgian has been a frequent habitué of breakaways this season and after having his previous efforts come to naught, today Keisse prevailed despite a near disastrous mishap on the route's final turn with 1km remaining.

    Keisse was part of the day's early seven-man break and with 7km remaining to the finish in Izmir, as the peloton was quickly devouring their advantage, the Belgian launched a solo attack.

    In the streets of Izmir Keisse led his former breakaway companions by 14 seconds and the peloton by 40 seconds approaching the final kilometre, but despite being aware of the dangerous corner at 1km to go, his front wheel lost traction and he crashed. Nonetheless, Keisse calmly picked himself up, put his chain back on and continued to the finish line where he held off the hard-charging peloton by the slimmest of margins.

    "I'm over the moon about this victory," Keisse said. "Here in Turkey my condition is improving day by day. Every day I was a little bit better. Also yesterday I tried to get in the breakaway without luck. Today I chose the right move. The guys in the break were really motivated. In the final I felt strong. I knew that If I kept going on it was possible to arrive until the finish."

    A stalwart on the winter's indoor Six Day circuit, Keisse hadn't won a race on the road since 2007, but despite his untimely crash he kept his cool under trying circumstances.

    "My first thought was 'What to do now?', but I tried to stay calm," Keisse said. "I looked behind me and I saw the peloton who was arriving. I maintained...

  • Van Garderen knocked out of Tour de Romandie by tree branch

    Tejay Van Garderen (BMC)
    Article published:
    April 28, 2012, 21:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Nothing broken, says BMC's chief medical officer

    Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) was forced out of the Tour de Romandie today during the 184km penultimate stage after being struck in the face by a wayward tree branch. While descending off of the day's first climb, the category 1 Col des Mosses, wind gusting to 60 km/h blew the branch into Van Garderen's face, said a statement released by the BMC Racing Team.

    The 23-year-old American, who started the stage just 15 seconds behind race leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) on general classification, withdrew from the race after completing approximately 50km of stage 4.

    Van Garderen required several stitches to his nose but nothing was broken, according to BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa.

    "He's doing fine and feeling good," Testa said. "It's just a soft tissue injury, but the cut was pretty deep. He'll have to take it easy for a few days."

    Van Garderen's teammate Cadel Evans, the Tour de Romandie's defending champion, had his best result of the race in today's stage with an 8th place finish. He'll start the final stage time trial trailing race leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) by 30 seconds overall.

  • Basso to lead Liquigas-Cannondale at Giro d'Italia

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    Article published:
    April 29, 2012, 0:16 BST
    Cycling News

    Strong squad backs team captain in search of 3rd Giro title

    While Ivan Basso had previously stated he'd wait until the conclusion of the Tour de Romandie to decide if he'd contest the Giro d'Italia, his Liquigas-Cannondale team announced today that Basso will indeed captain the Italian ProTeam at its home Grand Tour, beginning May 5 in Herning, Denmark.

    "I wanted to dispel any doubts a day early because my hope and desire to do the Giro are great," Basso said. "I worked so hard to prepare for this event, doing extra work that has kept me anxious to the last. But now I have the confidence to fight for the pink jersey: I'm delighted to say that I'll be there."

    Basso's preparation for the Giro has been hampered this spring by a knee injury suffered at Paris-Nice, followed by a crash at Volta a Catalunya which aggravated the injury. Basso is currently in 30th overall at the Tour de Romandie, 35 seconds behind leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) in advance of tomorrow's concluding stage - a 16.5km individual time trial.

    Basso will be supported at the Giro by a strong cadre of five climbers - Valerio Agnoli, Eros Capecchi, Damiano Caruso, Cristiano Salerno and Sylvester Szmyd - while Maciej Bodnar, Paolo Longo Borghini and Fabio Sabatini will round out the nine-man roster.

    "All the boys are in great condition and above all motivated to take a leading role," said Liquigas-Cannondale directeur sportif Stefano Zanatta. "In recent weeks I have felt a great desire [for the Giro] and today we've got confirmation that Ivan will do it. At his side is a team that can support him in the best way.

    "The Giro has always been the most important event...

  • Fränk Schleck to head up RadioShack-Nissan at 2012 Giro d'Italia

    Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    April 29, 2012, 10:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de France third-place finisher replaces injured Fuglsang

    Team RadioShack-Nissan has confirmed that Fränk Schleck will ride the 2012 Giro d'Italia. He replaces Jakob Fuglsang, who was to have been the team's captain but had to withdraw due to a knee injury.

    On Saturday evening the team confirmed Schleck's nomination, which had earlier been rumoured. He finished third last year in the Tour de France and is expected to go for the podium in Paris again this summer along with his younger brother Andy.

    Schleck has ridden the Giro once before, finishing 42nd overall in 2005.

    “My season was directed at peaking in the Tour,” Schleck said, "but when you think about it, this situation creates opportunities. For sure, I will come to the start with a different preparation than the other GC riders, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. My condition is not so bad and it can only grow the coming weeks.

    “The Tour of Italy is one of the big monuments of cycling as well, so it is at least a big challenge for me.”

    “I see a lot of opportunities for Fränk as well as for the team,” commented Team Manager Johan Bruyneel. "Fränk is a born leader and a team needs a leader. Moreover – though bad luck and circumstances did not provide the right results - he has shown in the last few weeks that his condition has already reached a high level. I am confident he can surprise us in the coming weeks.

    “It all reminds me of the 2008 Tour of Italy when, one week before the start, we got an invitation for the race. In the end we won the overall.”

  • Tours of Turkey and Romandie set for exciting finishes

    Tour de Romandie general classification leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    April 29, 2012, 11:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Stars set to do battle as final stages get underway

    A busy Sunday afternoon in Europe will see the Tour of Turkey and the Tour de Romandie reach their conclusions in very different circumstances but with excitement guaranteed for fans at both races.

    With two consecutive stage victories, Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) has snatched the yellow jersey from pre-race favourite Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) at the Tour de Romandie and enjoys a nine-second lead over the Briton going into this afternoon's final stage 16.5km time trial in the exclusive Alpine ski resort of Crans-Montana.

    Both men are excellent time trialists, with five national championships between them, and it likely to be a titanic tussle between them as they battle for supremacy in the WorldTour event. Much will depend on the weather. Wet roads would make it even more diffcult for Wiggins to bridge the gap than it does on paper, but early signs are that the damp weather of the last few days has cleared up and that the roads are looking dry. Wiggins is set to start at 16:16 CET, two minutes before Sanchez closes out proceedings. Team Sky's Michael Rogers lies in third place, sixteen seconds behind the leader, so barring mishaps it looks like a straight fight between the top two.

    Earlier in the day, and some 1100 miles to the south east of the continent, the Tour of Turkey finishes in the iconic city of Istanbul. The event continues to go from strength to strength and with a first ever mountain finish (stage 3) and more fans lining the roads than ever before, this year's staging has been one of the best in the race's history.

    Local fans have had much to cheer. Yesterday's

  • Omega Pharma-QuickStep prepared for all terrains at 2012 Giro d'Italia

    Team Omega Pharma - Quick Step
    Article published:
    April 29, 2012, 14:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Chicchi for the sprints, Cataldo and Pauwels for mountains and GC

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep is taking a “young, motivated” team to the 2012 Giro d'Italia, leaving the top stars at home. The team will look for stage wins “on any type of terrain.”

    Francesco Chicchi will go for the sprints, and “a victory in the Giro could give him good confidence for the rest of the season and reward him for the great work he's been doing up to now,” said sporting director Davide Bramati. He has four victories already this season, having won two stages in the Tour de San Luis, the Nokere Koerse and the Handzame Classic.

    Dario Cataldo and Serge Pauwels will be the riders for the mountains and the general classification, and they will be supported by Marco Bandiera, Michal Golas, Nikolas Maes, and Martin Velits.  Both Cataldo and Pauwels have done well in the Giro in the past. “Pauwels was a brilliant player in the race in 2009 and Cataldo stood out in the last editions, even coming close to a stage victory.”

    Two rides will be making their Grand Tour debuts will be Michal Kwiatkowski and Julien Vermote. “Michal will will try to put his skills as a time trial man to good use right away in the brief Prologue that will open the race, while Julien will gain some important experience in support of his teammates and it will be a significant investment for his future.”

    Bramati concluded: “Overall the team has all its cards in order to go for a stage victory and a good placing in the general classification."