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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, August 22, 2010

Date published:
August 22, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Transfer news: Ardila, Kozontchuk to follow Menchov to Geox?

    Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Rabobank) climbs well
    Article published:
    August 20, 2010, 22:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Arroyo, Taaramäe, Txurruka and more staying put

    The big news in this week's rider transfers is the moves of Carlos Sastre and Denis Menchov to the new Team Geox. Evolving out of the Footon-Servetto squad, the team of Mauro Gianetti may also attract two of Menchov's top domestiques from Rabobank: Mauricio Ardila and Dmitriy Kozontchuk, De Telegraaf reports.

    The Russian Kozontchuk has been teammates with Menchov on the Dutch squad since 2005, while the Colombian Ardila joined in 2006.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the news seems to be of riders extending with their current teams. Velochrono reports that Estonian Rein Taaramäe has extended his contract with Cofidis, which already ran through 2011, for an extra year.

    Biciciclismo reports that David Arroyo, who wore the leader's jersey at this year's Giro d'Italia for five stages, will remain with the Caisse d'Epargne structure when it becomes Team Movistar in 2011. The contract has yet to be finalized, but Arroyo said he hopes to put pen to paper before the start of the Vuelta a España.

    Sportdome also linked Jose Joaquin Rojas to the Garmin-Transitions team, but Cyclingnews has received a firm denial of the transfer from team manager Jonathan Vaughters.

    Euskaltel-Euskadi has extended its agreement with Amets Txurruka through 2012 and Gorka Verdugo for the next season.

    One rider not staying put is Ricardo Van der Velde, who announced via Twitter that he has not been renewed with the Garmin-Transitions team. He is currently seeking offers.

  • Bont to launch new models at Australian show

    The new Vaypor in black and white.
    Article published:
    August 21, 2010, 0:22 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Vaypor, A2 on display in Melbourne

    Australian shoe manufacturer Bont will unveil two new models at the Ausbike Australia tradeshow in Melbourne today. Its new top of the line model called Vaypor is based off its ctt-one model, which was launched earlier in the year to celebrate the team’s partnership with Cervelo Test Team.

    While based off the ctt-one, Vaypor has undergone several changes which include a softer lining, an increase in ventilation holes and changes to the carbon layup. The shoe, which has been tested by Team Sky professional Chris Sutton, has a claimed weight of 240g per shoe for a size eight.

    “We’ve never really had an issue with ventilation,” Bont’s Steven Nemeth told Cyclingnews. “There’s always been ventilation, but it’s just not been as obvious, as many of the holes are disguised. We’ve made these changes to improve it even more; we felt if we can improve it even further then we should.

    “We’ve also lowered the carbon height around the toe box to help improve comfort,” he added. “It reduces weight as well as increasing comfort.”

    The Vaypor, which will retail for $480 AUD, is available in white leather, or the company’s usual shiny microfiber in white, black, black and white or pink and white.

    The revised a-two has undergone similar changes using different materials as the company’s second level offering. Its changes include modifications to the layup, including the lowering of the carbon toe box’s height.

    Like the Vaypor the revised a-two has added ventilation on top of the shoe.


    The a-two, which will retail for $350AUD, has a claimed weight of 260g again for a size eight. While both shoes will be available to consumers sometime in November, the company will have a demo...

  • Leipheimer hopes hilly criterium will eliminate Utah contenders

    Levi Leipheimer (Mellow Johnny's) was two seconds off the stage win, but it was enough to keep his race lead.
    Article published:
    August 21, 2010, 7:17 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Riders expect hilly crit to have a big impact

    Levi Leipheimer (Mellow Johnny’s) is looking forward to the Tour of Utah’s stage three criterium held in Park City. The race leader is without teammates for support and he is depending on the more than 4000 feet of climbing to eliminate some of his competition before the final stage on Sunday.

    “The crit is hard and that might actually play into my favour,” Leipheimer said. “It’s at altitude and it will be hard. But we are going to have to wait to see just how hard. I think it will take out about 90 percent of the riders because of how hard it is.”

    The Tour of Utah’s penultimate stage is a brand new criterium course in Park City, but it is not a day for the sprinters. The extensive amount of climbing might make the course better suited to the climbers, with a hilly 1.6-kilometre circuit held in the historic area.

    “It’s the talk of the town because any time there is a new course with hills in it, it’s hyped up,” said BMC Racing’s Brent Bookwalter. “There has been a lot of talk about if it’s going to be a general classification day or whether people are going to save it for the last day.

    “We really don’t have much to lose now,” he added. “Hopefully I’ll be in the mix tomorrow but I’m just taking it day by day. I had no expectations coming into this stage race; it was sort of an afterthought.”

    Teams have traditionally included a token sprinter in their Tour of Utah roster, because the six-stage race previously included a flat, four-corner criterium suited to the savviest criterium specialists. Sprinters like Ken Hanson (Team Type 1) and Ivan Dominguez (Jamis-Sutter Home) are slightly disappointed with the swap from a flat course to a hilly one instead.

    “Crits in a stage race always have different dynamics than a one day crit,” Hanson said. “My strategy for tomorrow is to...

  • Cunego signs two-year contract with Lampre-ISD

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini)
    Article published:
    August 21, 2010, 10:01 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Damiani and Mapei Centre join new team structure

    Damiano Cunego has ended months of speculation by confirming that he will continue to ride in Lampre colours next season. In the wake of Friday’s announcement that Ukraine company ISD will co-sponsor the squad from 2011, Cunego revealed to La Gazzetta dello Sport that he has signed a two-year contract to ride for the team.

    Roberto Damiani will join the revamped Lampre-ISD outfit as sporting director and the squad will also collaborate closely with the Mapei Sport Research Centre at Castellanza under the stewardship of Aldo Sassi. Such changes appear to have tipped the balance and persuaded Cunego to stay at the team.

    “I was proposed a new project that impressed me straightaway,” Cunego told La Gazzetta. “I also took into consideration my relationship with (team manager) Beppe Saronni and (Lampre owners) the Galbusera family, as they have been with me in good times and bad.”

    The Verona native did admit that it took quite some time to reach a decision. “For me, these have been days of reflection. It’s not an exaggeration to say that we were talking about the most important decision of my career, I had never been at such a crossroads before,” Cunego said. “I had thought of leaving Lampre because I’ve reached a point at which I feel the need for new stimulus, for novelty, for something different.”

    Cunego had no shortage of suitors in the peloton, with Liquigas, Astana and Geox among his possible destinations. In an interesting signal of the team’s intentions, however, it was Vacansoleil who made the largest financial offer to Cunego. The Dutch team ultimately signed the controversial Riccardo Riccò last week.

    In any case, Cunego confessed to being pleased to have received such offers in spite of “a season that isn’t going as I had hoped.” The former Giro d’Italia winner is still without a victory in...

  • Riccò to miss GP Ouest France

    Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil)
    Article published:
    August 21, 2010, 11:00 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Italian's transfer to Vacansoleil yet to be confirmed formally by UCI

    Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) will not be able to ride Sunday's GP Ouest France for his new squad as the International Cycling Union (UCI) has yet to confirm the transfer. It is believed that the controversial Italian will now make his debut in his new colours at Wednesday’s Druivenkoers Overijse in Belgium.

    Riccò’s contract must first be examined by auditors at Ernst & Young before the UCI can approve his mid-season switch from Ceramica Flaminia. “I hope that everything works out for Druivenkoers Overijse on Wednesday,” Vacansoleil sporting director Hilaire Van der Schueren told Sportwereld.

    In any case, Van der Shueren is confident that Riccò’s transfer will be confirmed imminently and that this will lead to an invitation to the final classic of the season. “We are all certain that we will be able to go to the Tour of Lombardy,” he said. “Italy is at Riccò’s feet.”

    Riccò has not raced in France since he was excluded from the 2008 Tour de France after testing positive for CERA. He was summoned before a French court in June of this year to answer charges relating to that positive test but he declined to appear before magistrates in Foix. He was handed a two-month suspended sentence and fined €3,000.

    Meanwhile, Van der Schueren also confirmed that he will be looking to strengthen the support his team can offer Riccò. “We must find riders who will be capable of helping Riccò is his quest for victory in a grand tour.”

  • Chavanel ready to attack in Plouay

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    August 21, 2010, 13:29 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Tour de France star eyes place on French Worlds team

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) has said that he will have to attack alone if he is to win the GP Ouest France - Bretagne in Plouay on Sunday. The three-time Tour de France stage winner returned to competitive action after his hugely successful 2010 Grand Boucle at the Tour du Limousin this week, and will travel to Plouay aiming to ride his way onto the French team for the world championships.

    “I’m not going to say that I’m in great condition,” Chavanel told Ouest France. “I do feel rather good, but after the Tour it’s not so easy to get going again. You always relax a little.”

    Chavanel suffered from a thrombosis in the foot in early August and was forced to spend five days off the bike after his win at the post-Tour criterium at Lisieux. “Because of the heat and the tight shoes my foot swelled up,” he explained. “But everything is ok again now.”

    The Quick Step star is enthusiastic about the Breton race on Sunday but recognises that it may be difficult for a rider like him to win. “It’s become a really good ProTour race so it’s not so often that a long-range break stays away until to end anymore,” Chavanel said. “There’s always a lot of movement and nervousness. We’ll have to see. In any case, if I want to win, I’ll have to escape and finish by myself. Whenever I win, it’s always alone.”

    Chavanel took two spectacular solo stage victories at this year’s Tour de France, at Spa and Les Rousses, and each time did enough to take possession of the yellow jersey. He was a deserving winner of the final combativity classification at the Tour and has since signed a new contract to extend his stay at Quick Step. Chavanel’s magnificent Tour was all the more remarkable given that he suffered a fractured skull in a crash at Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April.

    Understandably, given his...

  • In form McEwen ruled out for road worlds

    Robbie McEwen (Katusha) leads the sprint classification in the Eneco Tour.
    Article published:
    August 22, 2010, 1:51 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Australian disappointed after missing selection

    Cycling Australia is yet to announce its final roster for this year’s UCI World Road Championships, yet one thing is certain: Robbie McEwen won’t be in it. The sprinter announced on Twitter that while he doesn’t know who has made the final cut, selectors have informed him he’s no longer in the hunt.

    The news comes as a blow to McEwen, who has enjoyed his most successful week in more than a year after claiming stage victory at the Eneco Tour earlier in the week. McEwen has battled to return to form since a crash during last year’s Spring Classics left him with an extensive knee injury.

    McEwen was understandably looking forward to the rare possibility of starting a worlds race on home soil. It’s the first time the event will be held in Australia and with McEwen in the twilight years of his career, the last opportunity to compete for the world title at home.

    “I won't be at Worlds in Geelong. Not selected. Don't know who the nine are but know I'm not. Yes I'm disappointed. Thought I'd be good there,” he wrote.

    McEwen is expected to hold a press conference later today to discuss the news.

  • Sutherland ill at Tour of Utah

    Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis) gets ready to leave for the day.
    Article published:
    August 22, 2010, 9:39 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Australian all-rounder could sit out final stage

    Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) slugged through the stage four criterium while battling a stomach virus that set in before the start of the Larry H Miller Tour of Utah. Despite his illness he started the day as an overall contender in 10th place but slipped down to 41st place before the decisive final stage on Sunday.

    “Ouch! First time I've suffered like a dog to make 50% of the crit time cut,” Sutherland tweeted following the race. “Gastro problems no bueno!”

    The Tour of Utah’s penultimate stage four 75-minute criterium had Sutherland’s name written all over it. The new course offered and extensive amount of climbing, totalling more than 4000 feet, on a 1.6-kilometre circuit held in the historical downtown area of Park City.

    “The first day he got here he wasn’t feeling right and he got progressive worse,” said Thierry Attias, UnitedHealthcare team owner. “He was feeling really bad at the time trial but he soldiered through it for 20th place. This morning when he woke up we weren’t sure if we were going to start him and instead just save him for another event. Since there are so few events left I think he took it upon himself, he wanted to come out and start. He was still feeling bad, we weren’t sure if he was going to put on his skin suit but he did.”

    Race officials announced a 50 percent rule whereby riders must finish half the criterium before getting lapped in order to start the fifth and final stage on Sunday. The ‘queen’ stage will take the peloton on a 160 km trek through the Wasatch Mountain Range before ending up a lengthy climb to the top of the Snowbird Ski Resort. Sutherland will decide tomorrow morning if he will race or not, according to the team’s directeur sportif Mike Tamayo.

    “I think we will focus on a stage win now,” Attias said. “We are pretty far out on GC. Morgan Schmitt is...