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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, December 18, 2011

Date published:
December 18, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Mollema looking to 2012 grand tours

    Bauke Mollema (Rabobank Cycling Team) is the new race leader
    Article published:
    December 17, 2011, 13:51 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider was surprise fourth in 2011 Vuelta a Espana

    Bauke Mollema would rather win the Vuelta a Espana than finish third in the Tour de France.  The Rabobank rider, who was one of the surprises of the 2011 Vuelta, may well ride both grand tours again in 2011.

    The climber did not do as well as hoped in this year's Tour, being hampered by illness. He came back in the end of the race, finishing second on the 17th stage.  He finished as 70th overall.

    Mollema finished just off the podium in the Vuelta, with ten top ten stage finishes.  He even wore the leader's jersey for one stage, and won the points jersey classification.

    “I like the Vuelta. I've always liked racing in Spain and have had very good results,” he told Revista Desde La Cuneta.  “I also think the Tour is well adapted to my characteristics.”

    While he still does not know his race programme for 2012, “Surely I will ride next year's Tour de France and we may decide to ride the Vuelta again. For GC and to do well, of course.”

    Given his choice of winning the Vuelta or finishing third in the Tour, he “would choose first in the Vuelta.  A win is always a win.”

    Mollema had not expected to do as well in the Vuelta as he did. “I expected to make the top ten, but nothing more. The podium was not an objective going in to the race, then the race was going well for us and I could finish fourth, which made me very happy. Also I got the green jersey in Madrid, which rounded out my performance.”

    He also knows that he can't stand still.  “In general I think I could improve and gain experience being stronger in all facets of...

  • Sorensen willing to skip Giro d'Italia for Tour de France

    Stage winner Nicki Sörensen (Team Saxo Bank) on the podium.
    Article published:
    December 17, 2011, 15:12 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dane wants to help Contador win the Tour

    With the Giro d'Italia starting in Denmark in 2012, it is a natural magnet for Danish riders. Nicki Sorensen would like to ride it, too, but he is wiling to pass it up in favour of the Tour de France, where he wants to help Saxo Bank teammate Alberto Contador again claim the title.

    “As I see it, it is very difficult – if not impossible – to ride a good Giro and a good Tour,” he told feltet.dk.  “Matto Tossato did well this year, but most people looking to try it, things go damn bad in the Tour.

    “I also know from experience that it is not much fun to be at the start of the Tour if you are not 100 percent prepared for it.”

    And the Tour is his major goal. “I'd love to ride the Tour again. Especially because I'd like to try to win it with Alberto, who will be really great. So it is surely the season's big goal.”

    Since the team will be focussed on supporting Contador, “the team that rides the Tour de France needs to ride together a lot before the Tour.  This will help the team ride together and so avoid errors in the Tour.  The riders get to know each other much beer and you know exactly how to respond in difficult situations. "

    The 36-year-old rode both the Tour and the Vuelta a Espana this year.

  • Video and gallery: Giro d'Italia fever gathering pace

    The iconic golden trophy was lifted last year by Alberto Contador
    Article published:
    December 17, 2011, 17:16 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Winners of Facebook competition announced

    It's less than five months to the start of the 2012 Giro d'Italia in Herning, and the build-up to the corsa rosa continues to gather pace with the launch of the publicity campaign for the event billed as the world's toughest race in the world's most beautiful place.

    Opening the Giro to the wider world and the reaching out to that global audience by way of social media are set to be two of the key themes of new director Michele Acquarone's first year at the helm.

    The sleeves and collar of the new maglia rosa will be decorated with tweets from riders and fans alike about what the hallowed jersey signifies to them, while the very design of the jersey was chosen via a Facebook poll.

    In another new departure, the models who will grace the race's official posters were selected from the Giro's global band of tifosi by way of a competition launched on the race's official Facebook page in November to find the "next pink fighters" - cycling fans with a particular passion for the values espoused by the three weeks of racing in Italy every May.

    The three lucky winners were Asbjørn Johansen from Norway, Ivan Cvpd from Spain and Italy's own Andrea Ponta. Fittingly, the trio travelled to style capital Milan on Friday to model the newly pink jersey and pose for the publicity shots that will be used to promote the Giro between now and the start in Denmark on May 5.

    All three are keen cyclists, and all are united by a particular fascination for the Giro. With the start of the 2012 race just a short hop across the North Sea from his home in Stavanger, Asbjørn is looking forward to the Herning prologue, but is even more enthusiastic about the queen stage to top of the Stelvio.

    "At the Giro, the mountains are magical," he said. "I've ridden a...

  • Team Type 1 - Sanofi jersey revealed

    A handful of riders model the new kit
    Article published:
    December 17, 2011, 19:14 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    US ProContinental team at camp in Arizona

    With its team camp set to end tomorrow in Tucson, Arizona, Team Type 1 unveiled its 2012 jersey. It's a deviation from the 2011 kit with more of an influence from their main sponsor Sanofi.

    The camp is running from December 8 to 18 with the new signings using it as an opportunity to familiarize themselves with their new squad on their six-hour training rides.

    Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for more on the team's training camp.

    Team Type 1 - Sanofi for 2012
    Julien Antomarchi (Fra)
    Remy Cusin (Fra)
    Danielle Colli (Ita)
    Julien El Fares (Fra)
    Filippo Fortin (Ita)
    Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
    Georg Preidler (Aut)
    Joey Rosskopf (USA)
    Alessandro Bazzana (Ita)
    Rubens Bertogliati (Swi)
    Laszlo Bodrogi (Fra)
    Alex Bowden (USA)
    Fabio Calabria (Aus)
    Danielle Callegarin (Ita)
    Aleksandr Efimkin (Rus)
    Aleksandr Serebryakov (Rus)
    William Dugan (USA)
    Charles Joe Eldridge (USA)
    Aldo Ino Ilesic (Slo)
    Jure Kocjan (Slo)
    Javier Megias Leal (Spa)
    Kiel Reijnen (USA)
    Martijn Verschoor (Ned)

  • A new status for Japan's Fumiyuki Beppu at GreenEdge

    Before race start, Fumiyuki Beppu (Team RadioShack) focussed
    Article published:
    December 17, 2011, 23:33 GMT
    By:
    Pierre Carrey

    Japanese all-rounder to skip Flemish classics and focus on hills

    In his seven year long professional career Fumiyuki Beppu has been labelled as a perfect gregario. His status might increase in 2012, however, with his transfer from RadioShack to new Australian WorldTour team GreenEdge.

    The Japanese rider told Cyclingnews, “On the flat races, I will support our sprinters like our leader Matt Goss. On the hilly races I certainly will have more freedom”.

    Beppu's provisional schedule includes the Tour of Basque Country, the Ardennes, the Tour of Romandy and the Giro d'Italia.

    This sequence of racing will be a shift for the 28-year-old all-rounder who usually takes part in the Flemish Classics. “It's true, I love cobbled races like Paris-Roubaix”, Beppu said.

    Yet, Marc Lamberts, the Belgian coach he started working with one year ago, also the trainer of Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Philip Deignan and Bart Wellens, suggested Beppu should skip this department. “We saw together I have not enough power for the cobbles. So, why not to try climbing? I have a good recovery; it's a good point for stage races”.

    Cyclingnews also understands GreenEdge's managers also pushed Beppu to try the Ardennes classics or stages races as the Australian team has no major card to play there, contrary with sprints and Flemish one day-races. Only ex-HTC Michael Albasini or ex-Rabobank Pieter Weening might claim a special role in a Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

    “Mentally and physically, I feel very good at the moment, so I think I can have a good season if I'm lucky”, Beppu says. “I like my new team a lot. That's an Australian dream team they wanted to launch since twenty years! They are highly motivated people. I was surprised by their...

  • Vila excited by Utensilnord-Named's prospects for 2012

    Patxi Vila will have a dual role in 2012
    Article published:
    December 18, 2011, 11:34 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard feels blend of youth and experience could prove crucial

    Having returned to cycling in 2011 after a two-and-a-half year absence, Spanish rider Patxi Vila is keen to make up for lost time as he moves into the veteran stage of his career. The 36-year-old will be racing for Irish team Utensilnord-Named, who are the successors to De Rosa-Ceramica Flaminia, in the UCI Continental Tour in 2012 and has revealed that he is excited by some of the young talent in the squad. His role next year will be that of both experienced team menber and directeur sportif, as he revealed to French website Cyclism'Actu.

    "I will be beginning my tenth year as a professional, so I have some experience in cycling," he said. "I will try to train young riders in our team to find their way to victory. I'm going to juggle between the role of sporting director and rider. I want to help my team the best in order to obtain good results.

    The staff and the staff remains virtually the same from 2011 under De Rosa-Ceramica Flaminia. John Lee Augustyn, from Sky, is one of the new riders. It should be noted also the presence of young riders with good potential such as Federico Rocchetti, Gianluca Maggiore, Matteo Fedi and Edoardo Girardi."

    Vila is hoping that the team can perform well enough in the opening races of the season to invited to the Grand Tours, with the Giro d'Italia being his main hope.

    "I hope with all my heart that we make the Giro," he said. "It's RCS (race organizer) who will decide whether or not we deserve to be there. We try to do better in races to prove that we deserve it. With riders like Bailetti and Augustyn we can fight over three weeks. One of our goals is to compete in the first...

  • Scarponi's teammates confident about his chances for 2012

    Scarponi finished 2nd in the 2011 Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    December 18, 2011, 12:35 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Only Contador is stronger than the Italian, say Lampre-ISD colleagues

    Lampre-ISD's cyclists have spoken out at their training camp about Michele Scarponi's plans for the 2012 Grand Tours, after team boss Giuseppe Saronni suggested that Scarponi could focus mainly on the Tour de France.

    The first comment was by Diego Ulissi, who pointed out that his will is to support his teammate, whatever the target could be.

    “I think that the support to a captain, and that could be either Cunego or Scarponi, in view of targets such Giro or Tour is an exciting challenge and a crucial moment for my growth as cyclist,” Ulissi said.

    “Michele is evaluating with the proper care where he'll spend his qualities, which are among the best in cycling world, and I know that I'll be able to pedal next to him in the crucial moments of the races. I had some outstanding days in the 2011 Giro so I'd like to live this experience again, but I understand also the will of Michele to try a new challange.”

    Alessandro Spezialetti has more experience, having performed in 14 Giros. “The choice of Giro d'Italia or Tour de France needs a deep reflection and it's very interesting,” he said.

    “I think that Michele, like any other Italian cyclist, has a strong feeling with the Giro d'Italia: to try to win it is an irresistible temptation. But just because Scarponi has top qualities as athlete, he's very attracted by Tour de France too. In fact, he showed in 2011 that, apart from maybe Contador, he could be better than any other rider for Grand Tours, so I don't understand why he should renounce any option. On a technical side, it's true that the...

  • Rico Rogers signs for Node 4-Giordana

    Dene Rogers (Giant Kenda) takes stage 1 of the Tour of China
    Article published:
    December 18, 2011, 13:23 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Kiwi sprinter joins British team on UCI Continental Tour

    British UCI Continental team Node 4-Giordana have strengthened their squad for next year after announcing that sprinter Rico Rogers is to ride for the team next season. The 34-year-old New Zealander is based in Melbourne but will be moving to Britain early next year to team up with his new teammates and backroom staff.

    Rogers, who has stage victories at the Tour of Taiwan and the Tour of China, is a former mountain biker and is excited at the prospect of moving to Britain and sampling different courses and conditions.

    Team boss Phil Griffiths spoke of his delight at the signing and his high hopes for Rogers, who he thinks can take on the very best in the world. Griffiths also reflected on Node 4's new sponsorship of the team, having endured the disappointment of seeing Motorpoint end their two-year association with the outfit.

    "It's a shame that Russell Downing could not have waited to sign a contract as we'd have loved to have him back," he said. "But for Russ, read Rico. He will be our sprinter. He has a formidable record and he wants to take on Cavendish at the Tour of Britain.

    "At 62 I am still a kid, I have never grown up. I still feel I owe a debt to cycling without it I would never have become a successful businessman... cycling has given me everything. Supporting a team helps my business and I still enjoy the buzz of being involved in cycle racing at the top level. It is great to have Node4 as our main sponsor as their management are genuinely cycling supporters. We are also excited to have Subaru on board as our vehicle provider with their long previous involvements with the sport."