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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, December 12, 2010

Date published:
December 12, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Renshaw wants wins of his own in 2011

    HTC-Columbia rider Mark Renshaw gave teammate Mark Cavendish an excellent lead-out yesterday.
    Article published:
    December 10, 2010, 22:35 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Cavendish's lead out man hopes to captain Aussie Worlds squad

    HTC-Highroad's Mark Renshaw is arguably one of the fastest riders in the world. He has to be in order to ferry his teammate Mark Cavendish through the final 500 meters of a Tour de France stage, keeping him ahead of his rivals before dropping him expertly off with 200 metres to go where he can blast to the victory.

    At age 28, however, the Australian is hoping he will have a few chances to be the one standing on the podium's top step, receiving the kisses of the podium girls and popping the cork on the champagne - an experience he's only had four times in his professional career. With a sprinter-friendly world championships in the upcoming season, going after the rainbow jersey is one of Renshaw's aims and he'll need some results to get there.

    "Leading out Cavendish is a prestigious job for sure, but I still have ambitions. I think this year I'll have a little more of a chance to fight for some objectives myself, and get the chance to win a race or two. It's something I'd like to do because I'd like to go to the world championships in Denmark for the Australian team as a leader," Renshaw told Cyclingnews at the recent HTC camp.

    "I don't know if there are too many other sprinters in Australia who are quicker or faster over that kind of finish, so obviously I need to put some results on the board to warrant my selection."

    While his schedule for the 2011 season has yet to be solidified, Renshaw is looking to early season success in Australia and perhaps the Giro d'Italia to fulfill that goal.

    "I'd love to start the season out on a high with the national championships and Tour Down Under. They're two important races for me on home soil. It's the only chance I get to race in Australia, so I'd love to be going well there."

    The next few months will be spent mainly working for Cavendish at the Tour of Qatar, Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo, but the Giro d'Italia could provide Renshaw the chance...

  • UnitedHealthcare ready to prove itself in Europe

    The jersey has classic style.
    Article published:
    December 10, 2010, 22:45 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Gallery: Clothing design revealed in pre-season staff meeting

    UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s general manager Mike Tamayo gathered the team’s directeur sportifs, mechanics and soigneurs at a pre-season staff camp held from December 7-14 in Asheville, North Carolina. The main objective was to allow the staffers to organize themselves before they begin to transition the team to the Professional Continental ranks in 2011.

    "I like bringing our staff together to have our own camp where we bond, get ourselves ready for the season, get motivated, go over how we are going to move around the season, what we are doing and our travel," Tamayo told Cyclingnews. "We also put together a staff handbook and go over our responsibilities and our dos and don’ts."

    The UnitedHealthcare staff includes Directeurs Vittorio Algeri and Eric Greene, Soigneurs Benny Ma, Bill Haelsen, Jeremy Fliss and Nicholas Cowan along with Mechanics Steve Sperling and Bernard Kocis.

    "When you’re running a cycling team the staff is so instrumental in how well the team runs," he added. "It’s a theory of mine that some teams run around their best bike rider, the really good athletes and we all need them. But at the same time they need the staff as much as we need the riders. I’m big on building a franchise of staff."

    High on the list of things to do was sorting the new clothing that arrived by the truckload to the team warehouse. Riders will be outfitted in Voler clothing with a fresh color palate of blue and white, a marked change from the previous season’s grayish tones.

    "The most important thing about staff camp is to sort out the clothing and prep the equipment, basically get the guys their bikes and uniforms," Tamayo said. "We went with the blue this year because UnitedHealthcare is in the process of rebranding to blue. I think the clothing looks great and I think it will pop in the peloton."

    Rory Sutherland played a factor in the clothing design. The Australian...

  • Rasmussen claims 50 riders want to join his Christina's Watches team

    Embattled Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    December 11, 2010, 11:10 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Blaudzun in discussion to become directeur sportif

    Michael Rasmussen claims to have heard from about 50 riders who are eager to join him at the newly-formed Christina's Watches Continental ranked team. The creation of the new Danish team was announced this week, and former pro Michael Blaudzun may soon be announced as the team's first sport director.

    "I have CVs of about 50 riders who would like to ride for the team,” Rasmussen told “These are Spanish, Italian, German and French riders. Apart from some Danish, of course. There are some good riders there. It's names that have raced on the Pro Tour level or been on the podium in major races,” he added, without giving any names.

    The new plans have re-ignited Rasmussen's motivation. “I'm so enthusiastic about the sport in all its facets, I can't escape it. Even though I was down for about a day after Bjarne Riis had extinguished the hope of getting to ride for Team Saxo Bank,” the Dane continued. “But it is just not in my nature to give up."

    Rasmussen has started making plans for his new team, inviting the current staff of the team and eight U23 riders to live with him in the Lake Garda in Italy, to prepare for the first races of the season in February.

    "The idea is that riders must stay with me in Italy for the first three months of the year. It's only an offer, it's not something that we will enforce, but it's an offer the riders have been given. I have apartments which will be rented out in summer, but right now it's a really good place to do winter training. We can easily house 12 people down there for a longer period,” he told

    Blaudzun as DS?

    37 year-old Michael Blaudzun is negotiating to become the team's sport director, he told the Herning Folkeblad. “We're talking. Now I just have to shut down Team Designa Kitchen and then find out what will happen going forward. I didn't think there are any...

  • Scott Davis retires

    Allan and Scott Davis in family...
    Article published:
    December 11, 2010, 15:17 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Australian signs off on the track

    Australia’s Scott Davis has announced his retirement from professional cycling and ended his career competing against his brother Allan on the Kevin Brogden Memorial Velodrome in his home town of Bundaberg in Queensland.

    Now 31, Davis has been racing for 22 years and rode for Ceramiche Panaria, Tenax, T-Mobile, Fly V Australia and Astana. He recalled his success in the team pursuit at the 1997 world championships as the highlight of his career.

    “Just representing Australia as a pro in ’03, ’04 and ’07 was also very special – to be a professional is an achievement as a whole,” Scott told the News Mail newspaper in Australia.

    He hopes to retire with a win on the track.

    “It would be nice to win the last event on the program on Saturday night, the Kevin Brogden Memorial 40-lap Scratch Race again. It was formerly known as the Fred Heidke Memorial, and I won it twice the last two times this carnival was held, in 2001 and 2002, so a hat-trick would be sweet. Allan and I have teamed up and it would be nice if one of us can win it, but as long as it is good racing, we will be happy,” he said.

    Allan finished third in the road race world championships in Australia and won gold in the Commonwealth Games on the road.

    Scott will live in Bundaberg his wife Jodie and two young children, Sienna, two, and Rhys, five months, but he will remain in cycling.

    “It will be great to watch them growing up, but it’s going to be hard to not be riding, especially when Allan goes back overseas,” he said.

    “But I’ll probably ride for fun at a few local events when I can and I will also be director sportive for Swift Carbon, a Queensland team of eight riders, including my cousin Brad Davis, and I’ll try and keep in the loop and try to get kids involved in cycling.”

  • Boom ready to fire for Rabobank at the Classics

    Lars Boom
    Article published:
    December 11, 2010, 16:33 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Dutchman's pre-season plan aimed firmly at cobbled Classics

    Lars Boom believes Rabobank will be a major force throughout the 2011 Classics season and is hopeful a new pre-season training programme that includes cyclo-cross will see him play a major role in the Northern European portion of the spring.

    Rabobank were one of only a handful teams able to break Saxo Bank's stranglehold on the 2010 Classics season, with Oscar Freire's win at Milan-San Remo. The team signed Matti Breschel during the off-season to bolster its Classics roster and although the Dane's participation in the next spring’s Classics remains in doubt after recent knee surgery, Boom is confident the squad will have plenty of cards to play.

    "I'm looking forward to working with him [Breschel]. He's a good rider and he's finished second at the worlds this year. We also have [Sebastian] Langeveld; he's a good rider also. We will have a strong team for the Classics," Boom told Cyclingnews on Saturday.

    "Before the team presentation we did some team building activities for a number of days and there's a really good atmosphere. A lot of guys in the team are also really good friends with one another. I think that is important and the main reason we are going to be good next year."

    Boom himself will again focus upon the cobbled Classics. Last season he finished fifth at E3 Prijs - Harelbeke and whilst the semi-classics will again be important goals, they remain stepping stones to his major objectives of the spring, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

    "I want to do well in that race [E3] and the weeks after of course -the big ones for me are Flanders and Roubaix," he said. "E3 and Het Nieuwsblad are also very important."

    Cyclo-cross to be ready for the cobbles

    In order to prepare for the Classics Boom has altered his pre-season and early season programme. The 24-year-old former cyclo-cross world champion has included a heavier-than-usual schedule of cyclo-cross races as preparation for...

  • Keisse stopped from competing at the Revolution

    Iljo Keisse (Quick Step) back in action at the Ster Elektrotoer.
    Article published:
    December 11, 2010, 19:11 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    UCI warn the organisers that he is only allowed to race in Belgium

    Iljo Keisse has been ruled out of racing at the Revolution 31 track meeting in Manchester tonight after the UCI contacted the organisers explaining that the Belgian was only permitted to race in Belgium.

    Keisse recently rode the Zurich six-day but the UCI appeared to have tightened their stance.

    "We've been advised by the UCI that Iljo Keisse is suspended from racing anywhere except in Belgium so we are not able to allow him to take part in Revolution tonight," Event Promoter James Pope told Cyclingnews.

    Keisse had made the trip the Manchester, England in order to appear as a guest rider for team Revolution. However upon arriving he was notified of the governing body’s stance.

    The news comes on the back of the rider signing a new one-year deal with Quick Step despite a pending final decision in the legal saga surrounding his 2008 doping positive at the Gent Six-day.

    Last month the Belgian Court of Appeals overturned a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in July, to re-instate his two-year ban. The Belgian decision means Keisse can race until a final decision is made next April.

    If the ban is upheld, Keisse will find himself forced to serve the final nine months of his original suspension. For now the 27-year-old is relieved to have secured a third chance to race at the highest level and recently won the Ghent six-day with Peter Schep.

  • Pegasus Sports riders looking for other teams

    Chris White and Jonathan Cantwell during their training ride.
    Article published:
    December 11, 2010, 21:00 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Future of Australian team in doubt after licence problems

    Cyclingnews understands that at least six riders from the Pegasus Sports team have begun to look for places in other teams after the Australian team failed to secure a Professional Continental licence from the UCI.

    On Friday the UCI announced that 23 teams have secured a licence to compete in cycling’s second division in 2011 after a series of financial, ethical and administrative checks where carried out on each team’s application.

    Teams that secured a Professional Continental licence included Colombia es Pasion - Cafe de Colombia, Team Spidertech Powered by C10 in Canada and the Verandas Willems - Accent team in Belgium.

    The Pegasus Sports team has a much stronger rider roster than many of the other applicants but has still to name a title sponsor for the team and their application was deemed incomplete but the UCI Licence Commission after also being overlooked for a ProTeam licence.

    The team has been granted an additional period until just next Wednesday (December 15) to submit all the required documentation but time appears to be running out for what should have been Australia’s first ever major professional team.

    A source, who runs a US-based team and who received the resumes from the six riders told Cyclingnews: "It's is unfortunate that the Pegasus program is struggling and unfortunate that riders and staff members are now strandd and looking for last minute jobs."

    Under UCI rules, riders can terminate their contracts if a team fails to secure a Professional Continental licence. That would allow the riders of the calibre of Robbie McEwen, Robert Hunter, Daryl Impey and Svein Tuft to look for other teams. However their chances and possible salaries would be limited because most teams have completed their rosters and spent their budgets for 2011.

    Pegasus Sports team manager Chris White was expected to make an official announcement about the team’s sponsor at...

  • Pereiro swaps cycling for football

    Article published:
    December 12, 2010, 10:30 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Former Tour winner to join Coruxo

    Oscar Pereiro is set to make a speedy return to competitive sport by joining the Spanish football team Coruxo. The 2006 Tour de France winner retired from cycling at the end of this season, which he spent at Astana.

    “Playing for a football team was one of my dreams since I started in the sporting world, and so this new step is a very good challenge and I’m very excited,” Pereiro told AS.

    Coruxo F.C. are based in Pereiro’s home region of Galicia, and currently lie in 14th place in group 1 of the Segunda Division B, the third flight of football in Spain.

    Pereiro joins the club for training on Monday and the 33-year-old will begin his career with the reserve team.

    “I will play in the reserves but I’ll also train with the first team a couple of times a week,” he said. “Each day I will try to learn something new from my teammates. I’ll play wherever they tell me although I’ve always felt best in midfield.”