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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, June 5, 2011

Date published:
June 05, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Sergeant admits it will be hard to keep Gilbert

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    June 04, 2011, 16:00 BST
    Cycling News

    WorldTour leader too expensive for Belgian teams?

    Philippe Gilbert probably won't ride for a Belgian team next year, his current team manager Marc Sergeant said. The current WorldTour leader will be too expensive to keep, according to Segeant, who signed Gilbert from FJD in 2008.

    Omega Pharma and Lotto are parting ways at the end of this season, with each wanting to continue sponsorship of its own team.  "I do not think there is money to pay him," Sergent told Het Laatste Nieuws.

    "That money would probably have been there if the sponsors could have remained together. Gilbert is the Contador of one-day races. He has reached a point where he can earn really big money."

    "The logical step is for a lot of money to secure his future."

    Gilbert's wins this season in Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege drove up his value, Sergeant said.  He debated where the Belgian might sign.

    “Quick-Step? I wonder if Patrick Lefevere can afford Gilbert,” he said, referring to the rival Belgian team.

    "I understand that Team Sky wants Gilbert. Sky is a global player and Philippe speaks the language."


  • Wiggins primed for Dauphiné prologue

    Bradley Wiggins won the stage and gets the rewards.
    Article published:
    June 04, 2011, 17:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Team Sky captain's Tour preparation on track

    Fresh off a victory over world champion Fabian Cancellara in the Bayern-Rundfahrt time trial, Bradley Wiggins is bringing fine form into this year's Critérium du Dauphiné.

    It will be the Team Sky rider's first participation in the race since his prologue victory of 2007 there launched the road career of the track champion.

    Now, since the Briton topped Cancellara by 33 seconds on a flat 26km course in Germany last week, he is being tipped as the top favourite to win the 5.4km prologue tomorrow. "Beating Cancellara is a big satisfaction and it gives a lot of confidence," said Wiggins.

    Wiggins has come a long way on the road since devoting himself fully to the discipline following his Olympic gold medal performances in 2008 on the track. In 2009, he emerged as a Grand Tour contender after placing fourth overall in the Tour de France.

    However, last year Wiggins wasn't able to reproduce those results, and he faults his programme leading up to the Tour. His build-up included the Giro d'Italia in 2010, just as it had the previous year, but after he won the prologue and held the leader's jersey for a day, Wiggins said he put too much effort into the general classification.

    This year, he's not making the same error, and skipped the Giro to focus fully on the Tour. The result has been a string of successes, including a third place overall in Paris-Nice, second in the Critérium International time trial, fourth in the Tour de Romandie test and his recent victory in Germany.

  • Spekenbrink and Skil stick to their guns

    Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano) is the overall race leader
    Article published:
    June 04, 2011, 19:48 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Dutch team head to Vuelta a Espana

    Although they’ve captured 11 victories on the road this season, by far the biggest success Skil Shimano have managed is an invitation to the Vuelta a Espana.

    Having been in the grand tour wilderness since the 2009 Tour de France, this year’s Vuelta will see general manager Iwan Spekenbrink’s team take on the biggest teams in the WorldTour over three weeks.

    Skil, a pro continental outfit, pride themselves on a philosophy of clean sport and rider development, and according to Spekenbrink it was these credentials that helped win over the Vuelta organisers.

    “From their point of view our project is interesting, firstly from a sporting level but also our philosophy around the team and the future of it. They know our team, we’re not new, and they know how we’ve been programmed and that we’re a solid base,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “You can look short term or long term but I believe when your principles are right in cycling then good things will happen. Of course we were disappointed last year when we couldn’t ride the Tour de France but we saw it coming and we respected the decision. However, we knew that in the long term that we were travelling along the right path and that it would be rewarded.”

    Skil’s reputation for signing young, promising riders has seen a number of athletes develop within the framework on offer at the Dutch team. Kenny Van Hummel and Marcel Kittel have both won several races this season and although the team lacks a big named rider they look at giving everyone his chance.

    “We put a lot of effort into the support of riders and their development. So it’s not about just buying a rider, we want to create our own pool of talent that match our philosophy and ethics and that’s most...

  • Concussion takes Abbott out of Liberty Classic

    Mara Abbott comes in after winning the Giro Donne.
    Article published:
    June 04, 2011, 21:48 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    National Champion can't remember crash

    US National Champion Mara Abbott was forced to pull out of this Sunday's Liberty Classic in Philadelphia due to a concussion sustained in a crash while she was training in her home town of Boulder, Colorado today.

    The cause of the crash is unknown, however following the accident, Abbott found her way to the Boulder Community Hospital on bicycle with the help of friend, Torin Priem, who found her while she was stopped at the side of the road.

    "I don't know how I crashed because I don't remember it, but I ended up in the hospital with a concussion and a bunch of stitches in my finger," Abbott told Cyclingnews. "An old friend from high school just happened to ride by and saw me standing over my bike at the side of the road and rode with me to the hospital."

    "I looked back at my power file because I couldn't remember any of it and I actually crashed about 25 minutes before my friend found me. It looks like I got back on my bike and kept riding and then got off again, which is when my friend found me. My helmet was completely smashed in."

    Doctors diagnosed Abbott's with a concussion and she had lacerations to her fingers that required several stitches. According to Abbott, they gave her an undetermined period of recovery due to the complexity of a head injury.

    "I have to take it easy because head injuries are weird and you never know how you will react to activity," Abbott said. "It seems like I am recovering well but I have a small headache and some fogginess. But, it's hard to tell until you put in an effort on the bike. I will take it really slow. Head injuries are nothing to try and mess around with."

    Abbott was out for warm-up spin on her bike when the crash occurred at roughly 6:00am, several hours prior to her scheduled flight to Philadelphia. She was registered to compete in the Liberty Classic with her Diadora-Pasta Zara...

  • Sprinters rally at TD Bank Philadelphia Championships

    Anibal Borrajo dedicates his stage win at San Dimas to his late brother, Armando.
    Article published:
    June 05, 2011, 0:14 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Domestic teams ready to give internationals a run for their money

    A series of domestic and international sprinters will convene at the upcoming UCI 1.HC TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship held on Sunday. The crowds will not be disappointed in the showdown of speed, should the race hold true to tradition and conclude in a bunch kick outside the famed Art Museum.

    The 26th annual one-day classic is one of the most well-attended and prestigious events held on US soil. The professional men will start the race outside the Art Museum and complete three parade laps of Logan Square before taking on ten large loops that include Manayunk Wall, Strawberry Mansion and Lemon Hill, followed by three short finishing circuits for a total of 250 kilometres.

    The race has historically concluded in a dramatic bunch finish, last year, won by Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad). Although he is not here this year, his teammate Leigh Howard is eager to nab a win for themselves. "Leigh [Howard] has been in the U.S. since the Tour of California and he's quite focused for a win," Peiper says, "He was with [Matt] Goss last year when he won, and now Leigh has a good chance."

    However, they will be up against some steep competition with from other international-level sprinters including multiple-time Tour de France stage winner Jaan Kirsipuu (Champion System) from Estonia and multiple-time Amgen Tour of California stage winner Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) from Slovakia. Other potential race winners include riders from Professional Continental teams including rising talent Aldo Ino IIesic (

  • Cantwell and Kemps to sprint for V Australia in Philadelphia

    Men's champion Jonathan Cantwell (V Australia) with his trophy.
    Article published:
    June 05, 2011, 2:44 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Vogels confident in team after two-week camp

    UCI Continental V Australia team's Directeur Sportif Henk Vogels is confident that his team will is capable of putting together a strong performance at the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championships held in Sunday, June 5. Jonathan Cantwell and Aaron Kemps will be the team's designated sprinters for the 250kms one-day classic.

    "Aaron and Jonathan are in good shape and they both live for this race," Vogels told Cyclingnews. "We have a good bunch of guys to help Jonathan and Kemps at the finale. I wouldn't say that we have a very good lead-out but we do have a good group of strong guys to help out in the final."

    "Having two sprinters here is essential because you need that last person," he added. "It is all about getting that good position coming out of the last bend, if it comes down to a sprint."

    Cantwell targeted this event since the beginning of the season. He started racing at the Australian National Championships and went on to compete at the Tour Down Under. Stateside, he competed at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Sunny King Criterium, which he won, and Joe Martin Stage Race, where he became ill and was forced to skip Tour of the Gila.

    "I think Jonathan is just coming on to good form now," Vogels said. "I think he has learned a lot about this race and what to do in the final. He has been the kind of sprinter that comes from the back because he has that acceleration, but here you can't do that here. He has to be top five coming into the sprint."

    Confirmed riders for the race include Cantwell and Kemps along with Bernard Sulzberger and Michael Frieberg. Also on the preliminary start list are Hayden Brooks, Taylor...

  • Kirsipuu makes whirlwind US appearance for Champion System

    Jaan Kirsipuu (Team Champion System) shows NJ he still has his form.
    Article published:
    June 05, 2011, 5:10 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Legendary Estonian makes Philadelphia debut at 41

    Estonia's Jaan Kirsipuu is in the midst of a whirlwind trip to the United States as part of the Hong Kong-based UCI Continental Champion System squad, racing first on Thursday in Basking Ridge, New Jersey at the Base Camp International p/b Verizon Wireless criterium and concluding with the 250km TD Bank International Championship on Sunday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    "Champion System's American office just asked me to come for these two races. I didn't have more time because I raced last week in Estonia and there are some other races also coming up at home [in Estonia]," Kirsipuu told Cyclingnews on Saturday from his hotel in Philadelphia.

    While Kirsipuu finished on the podium on Thursday behind the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling sprinting duo of Robert Förster and Hilton Clarke, he's much more pragmatic about his chances in the US's most prestigious one-day race.

    "I don't have any expectations. I think this race right now is too hard for me. Even when I was in top condition this race would be quite hard for me. You have to be in really top condition to perform well here. I'm sceptical for tomorrow," he said with a laugh.

    This trip to the US in not Kirsipuu's first, however.

    "My first race [in the United States] was the Atlanta Olympic road race 15 years ago," he said. "Thursday [in Basking Ridge] was my second race."

    Kirsipuu finished 24th in the 1996 Olympic Games road race, the first open to professionals, 2:48 behind gold medalist Pascal Richard.

    There are still several professionals in the current peloton who have competed against Kirsipuu in Europe, but the ranks are ever dwindling.

    "I know

  • Rosseler doubtful for Tour de France

    Stage 3b winner Sébastien Rosseler (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2011, 10:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian must start Tour de Suisse to prove fitness

    Sebastien Rosseler is facing a race against time to prove his fitness ahead of the Tour de France. The Belgian was forced to abandon the Tour of Luxembourg with knee trouble on stage two, and he must start the Tour de Suisse if he is to have any chance of making RadioShack’s Tour de France line-up.

    Rosseler’s injury is a repeat of the problem that ended his Tour de Romandie in April, but the precise nature of the damage is unknown.

    “The Tour of Luxembourg was a new test, but it wasn’t conclusive,” RadioShack directeur sportif Dirk Demol told Het Nieuwsblad. “On the flat, there is no problem. The pain manifests itself when he has to push hard on the pedals.”

    Rosseler must now attempt to recuperate in time for the Tour de Suisse, which begins on Saturday, although Demol admitted that he was not optimistic of his fellow countryman’s chances.

    “Now he needs another period of rest,” Demol said. “We’ll see if he can get to the Tour de Suisse. That would be necessary to even come into contention for the Tour, but I fear that this will not happen.”