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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, August 28, 2011

Date published:
August 28, 2011, 08:00
  • Golas out of the Vuelta with facial injuries

    Michal Golas (Vacansoleil-DCM) will get married this Saturday
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 09:15
    Cycling News

    Vacansoleil DCM rider with 17 stitches

    Michal Golas of Vacansoleil DCM will not be at the start of the Vuelta a España on Saturday, his team has announced.  The Polish sprinter was involved in the crash just short of the finish line on Friday's seventh stage.

    After colliding with Garmin-Cervelo's Tyler Farrar, Golas fell on his face.  He finished the race bleeding heavily.  The team reported on Friday night that he had received 17 stitches but planned to be at the start on Saturday.

    On Saturday morning, however, that decision was overturned.  “Michal Golas will not be able to start today in the Vuelta. The rider, team doctor and sport leaders have decided this this morning,” the team tweeted.


  • CAS fix Contador hearing dates for November

    There's no denying that Alberto Contador suffered on the Alpe d'Huez.
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 09:53
    Cycling News

    Clenbuterol case to be heard from November 21-24

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has fixed the hearing dates for the Alberto Contador Clenbuterol case from November 21-24 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, but was cleared by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) in February. The UCI and WADA subsequently appealed the matter to CAS.

    The CAS hearings were initially fixed for June, but were then postponed until August, and Contador was able to compete in the Tour de France in July, where he finished 5th.

    Following the Tour, CAS announced that the hearings had been postponed again until November at WADA’s request and with the “unanimous agreement” of the UCI, RFEC and Contador.

    This delay cleared the way for a second round of written submissions to “allow the parties to complete their evidence and arguments relating to some specific scientific issues.”






  • Dowsett earns first pro victory

    Alex Dowsett drives the bunch to pull back the leaders
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 10:39
    Cycling News

    Success in final stage of Tour du Poitou-Charentes

    Alex Dowsett of Team Sky claimed his first professional win with a perfectly timed late attack on the final stage of the Tour du Poitou-Charentes.

    The Team Sky neo-pro kicked clear with around five kilometres to go on the 171.4km route from Saint-Jacques de Thouars to Poitiers. Dowsett and teammates Greg Henderson, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Rogers had already split the peloton on the finishing circuit and the youngster then powered away in the closing stages.

    The 22-year-old had enough of an advantage in the finishing straight to be able to savour a memorable triumph, crossing the line six seconds ahead of the rest, and to round things off Davide Appollonio made it a one-two on the stage for Team Sky by winning the bunch sprint for second.

    Dowsett had already moved up to third in the overall standings courtesy of winning the first intermediate sprint and the time he gained at the finish pushed him up further to second on the GC, splitting RadioShack pair Jesse Sergent and Michal Kwiatkowski

    It completed a week to remember for Dowsett who said, "It all started with the intermediate sprint after 24km; the bunch was all still together and Jez [Hunt] and Appo absolutely roared off the front and got about 50 metres on the peloton which gave me the three seconds that bumped me up to third on the GC."

    "That was the start of it going well and from then on it just got better and better," said Dowsett according to Team Sky's website.

    "Everything just split to pieces on the finishing circuit and Greg and Mick took me to the bottom of the last climb and I just went all the way to the finish. I spent the final few kilometres wondering when they were going to come past me - it was agonising.

    "My teammates have been amazing, I completely owe today's result to them. To get the stage win is unreal and moving up to second is like the cherry on top," said Dowsett.

  • Farrar abandons Vuelta a España

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) would finish the stage in 4th place.
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 12:28
    Cycling News

    American started stage 8 but withdrew after 35km

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) abandoned the Vuelta a España on stage 8 as a result of the injuries he sustained in a crash in the finishing straight at Talavera de la Reina on Friday.

    Preliminary x-rays on Friday evening showed that Farrar had broken no bones but was suffering from severe contusions to his left hip, and his continued participation in the race remained in doubt.

    It is understood that that Farrar returned to hospital for a further check-up two hours before the beginning of Saturday’s stage, and the Vuelta’s official site reported that he would not be on the start line. Remarkably, the American opted to continue in the race and arrived to sign on ten minutes before the start.

    35km into stage 8, however, Farrar was forced to give best to his injuries and climbed off just before the peloton tackled the 1st category Puerto de Mijares.

    It was the second time that the unfortunate Farrar has abandoned a grand tour in 2011. He withdrew from the Giro d’Italia following the tragic death of his close friend Wouter Weylandt. Farrar returned to action in time to win a stage of the Tour de France in July.




  • Video: Voigt cracks top ten in USA Pro Cycling Challenge time trial

    Jens Voigt (Leopard Trek) looking to cover an early break.
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 13:38
    Peter Hymas

    Leopard Trek rider critiques Andy Schleck's culinary skills

    Jens Voigt (Leopard Trek) draws a crowd wherever he competes, and his presence at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado is no exception.

    The 39-year-old German uncorked an impressive time trial in Vail during stage three the previous day, finishing eight overall and just three seconds off the pace of American time trial ace David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo).

    Cyclingnews spoke to Voigt in Avon, Colorado prior to the start of stage 4 and the ever quotable German provided a critique of teammate Andy Schleck's cooking skills, as the Luxembourger prepared the team's meal the previous evening.

    Leopard Trek has Portugal's Bruno Pires in ninth overall, but Voigt thinks the GC will stay the same for the remaining stages as he expects breakaways and sprinters to dominate the racing through the finale on Sunday in Denver.


  • Video: Summerhill steps up for Garmin-Cervélo in Colorado

    Danny Summerhill (Garmin-Cervelo) grits his teeth
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 15:27
    Peter Hymas

    Stagiaire supports team's stars on home roads

    Denver, Colorado native Danny Summerhill got the call-up to Garmin-Cervélo from their Chipotle Development Team at the Tour of Utah earlier this month, and now the 21-year-old is on home roads at the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

    Summerhill is relishing his role as a domestique on the Boulder-based ProTour team and finds himself in the thick of the action in support of teammates Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson, who lie in second and fourth overall respectively going into stage 4.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews prior to stage 4 in Avon, Summerhill talked about the thrill of having Leopard Trek's Andy Schleck as his minute-man the previous day in the Vail time trial.

    "I really wanted to catch him," Summerhill told Cyclingnews. "He got a little too far away from me on the flats so I couldn't actually catch him, but I was watching him for a while."

    Summerhill has been blown away by the crowds on-hand each day thus far and he believes the event will continue for years to come.

  • USA Pro Cycling Challenge aspires to UCI 2.HC upgrade

    Huge crowds lined the streets of Avon at the start of stage four.
    Article published:
    August 28, 2011, 02:48
    Kirsten Frattini

    Hunter says financial backing is secure for 2012

    USA Pro Cycling Challenge Chairman Shawn Hunter is aspiring to upgrade his inaugural UCI-sanctioned 2.1 event to a 2.HC status and confirmed that the event secured financial backing for 2012. UCI President Pat McQuaid stated the decision to upgrade will depend on the degree of improvements made following the post-event report. In addition, the decision is contingent upon the depth of UCI events on the US calendar.

    Hunter responded to questions regarding next year's secured financial backing for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge by stating, "Absolutely, we have committed funding. We have two very committed and passionate owners and the reward for me this week was to see the smile on their faces and each and every day at the finish of the races, to see the crowds and the enthusiasm."

    The USA Pro Cycling Challenge might have started out with a couple of name changes and some branding issues, however upon the penultimate stage five finish in Breckenridge, it was clear that the seven-day event was a success in its first year. It would be no surprise if the race took one step forward and the UCI granted it the 2.HC status that it is seeking.

    "We are working on that [UCI 2.HC status] with both Medalist Sports and Pat McQuaid," Hunter said. "I think it is logical step and I think we will look back and say this was a good year, we will get better in 2012. For America, we have two and three pretty great events. I think it is a credit to what is happening in US cycling. This race is definitely back and it's definitely going to be here for the long term."

    McQuaid is scheduled to meet with the UCI Road Commission next week where he expects to discuss the possible upgrade. He warned, however, that the decision to upgrade is not solely based on the success of an event, its organization, the attendance of world-class riders, a scenic parcours, or its record crowds. The decision will also be based on the number of events on the nation's calendar.

    This year there was one 2.HC event at the Amgen Tour of California and five others that included 2.1 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, 2.1 Tour of Utah, 2.2 Tour of Elk Grove, 1.HC TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championships and the 1.1 Univest Grand Prix. There are also two WorldTour events and the 2.2 Tour de Beauce in Canada.

    "Any decision that is taken is taken also in view of the total number of races that there are in the United States," McQuaid said. "There is no point in having three, four or five .HC races and then nothing in the steps below. So it is taken in relation to the total number of events in the US as well. From the UCI point of view, it is an important race because our strategy is to globalize the sport and this fits in very well with that strategy. We hope that this race continues to grow and that we can continue to see good quality riders and good quality racing taking place here."

    McQuaid will depart the event prior to the start of stage six finale from Golden to Denver. He will leave Hunter, along with Medalist Sports, with a report that will include a list of improvements that he will expect to be made before the coming year.

    "You can always improve, even the Tour de France can improve, you can always learn from your existing events," McQuaid said. "The race can improve by looking at the great events like the Tour de France, how they are organized and operated. It doesn't mean the race has to be like the Tour de France, each event has its own characteristics and character.

    "I have heard that the television coverage could improve a bit," he said. "Other than that, the crowds were massive and it surprised me in the last couple of kilometres in Aspen, Steamboat and Breckenridge. A lot of work has gone into the background of this race and in the promotion of it. We will be working with Shawn Hunter and his team, Medalist Sports, and USA Cycling to find ways to improve it."

  • Morkov hunts first pro win in Colorado

    The stage four podium (l-r): Michael Mørkøv, Elia Viviani and Kenny van Hummel
    Article published:
    August 28, 2011, 06:18
    Kirsten Frattini

    Saxo Bank Dane eyes stage six finale in Denver

    Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Sungard) is confident that he will sprint to his first professional victory at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The 26-year-old Dane believes that his best chances for a stage win will be during the stage six finale in Denver on Sunday.

    "I still have to make my first win as a professional and I think I have a good chance to do that here," Morkov told Cyclingnews. "I was pretty damn close yesterday. Maybe with a little change in the sprint I could have beaten Elia Viviani. My morale and confidence is really good and I believe I can win a stage."

    Morkov placed second in the bunch sprint during stage four that finished in Steamboat Springs. Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) was delivered to the finish line by his teammates and won the stage ahead of Morkov and Kenny van Hummel (Skil-Shimano). His runner-up performance turned heads as he was not marked as one of the favourites on the day.

    "I was confident yesterday," Morkov said. "I felt good during the stage and I told my teammates before that I believed I could do a good sprint. The reason why I was under the radar was probably because I have not participated in that many bunch sprints.

    "I think I have a good chance here because there aren't that many sprinters. The sprinters that are here, I feel I have the same power. I might not be used to the positioning and fighting the sprinters as the other guys are, but I had a good sprint yesterday and good help from my team."

    Team Exergy was the first team that organized a lead-out for its sprinter Fred Rodriguez. The team was overtaken with 15km to go by Viviani's team Liquigas-Cannondale. Other teams that made a strong lead-out presence in the final kilometres were Skil-Shimano, for van Hummel, and UnitedHealthcare, for Robert Forster. Morkov believed that a powerful lead-out may have helped Viviani, but it was not a necessity.

    "Racing in a place like this with big roads, you don't need to sit in the front," Morkov said. "You can actually sit in the middle or the back with three or four kilometres to go, as long as it is not stretching out. That was more or less my tactic and I used some of my teammates to bring me up a little bit. I had André Steensen in the last kilometre and he really pulled the strings with 500 metres to go and gave me the position that I needed."

    Morkov has been a world-class track endurance cyclist with results such as a Madison and team pursuit world championships, a silver medal in the team pursuit at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, plus multiple national championships in the Madison, points race, scratch race and team pursuit in his palmares.

    "My skills come from the track," said Morkov. "I went professional in 2009 [on the road] and I have been struggling a little bit to find my level, it is a pretty high level to race in the WorldTour. Now I am starting to feel like I am at a good level and that I am capable of making some good results."

    Morkov most recently competed in four Six-Day track events over the 2010-2011 winter, culminating with a victory in his home Copenhagen Six-Day in February, but that may be the final swan song of an enviable career on the boards.

    "I won a lot on the track and I am proud of my results there. My main focus is on the road now. Of course I had so many nice results on the track and I will never forget them. In my heart, the track is there and I would like to continue as much as possible, but my main focus is on the road."

    Morkov has finished two Grand Tours in his career thus far, both the 2010 and 2011 Giro d'Italia, and in this year's event he had the experience of riding in support of his teammate Alberto Contador, the 2011 Giro champion.

    "That was probably one of the best experiences in my career," said Morkov. "It was a nice experience to ride with Alberto Contador, he is such a professional rider, and it was an honour to help him because he is so polite and so happy for all the help you can give him. The Giro was amazing and to be a part of winning a Grand Tour I am really proud."

    In less than a month from the conclusion of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, the road Worlds will take place in his home nation of Denmark and Morkov is hopeful he'll be part of Denmark's six-man squad.

    "The team has not been selected yet," said Morkov. "Since I have been riding pretty good in the Tour of Denmark and now here, I have been showing that my shape is coming up well and I believe I will still have a spot on the team."