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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, November 22, 2009

Date published:
November 22, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Selvaggi bound for Astana

    Mirko Selvaggi (Cycle Collstrop) tastes his breakfast again on the Kwaremont.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2009, 10:23 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Italian Selvaggi joins Astana for 2010, set to support Kazakh's Classics roster

    Astana have recruited Mirko Selvaggi for the 2010 season. Biciclismo reports that the Italian rider will join the ProTour squad next year and is expected to support the team's ambitions for the Spring Classic season.

    It will be the first time Selvaggi has ridden for a top-tier team in his two-year professional career. Selvaggi's second season as a professional was cut short this year when his now former team, Amica Chips – Knauf, was suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in May. His directeur sportif at the Italian Pro Continental squad, Giuseppe Martinelli, has also recently joined Astana and has brought the 24-year-old to the team.

    Selvaggi rode for Dutch squad Cycle Collstrop in 2008, where he raced all of the Belgian Classics. Although yet to record a professional victory, he has experience racing at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallonne, Gent-Wevelgem, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Dwars door Vlaanderen - Waregem and Omloop Het Volk.

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  • Contador's Specialized deal a factor in Quick Step switch

    Quick.Step manager Lefévère at the 2006 Tour de France
    Article published:
    November 21, 2009, 10:36 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Lefevere admits Specialized's arrangement with Contador played a role in switch to Merckx bikes

    Alberto Contador “certainly played a role” in Quick Step's decision to end its co-operation with Specialized bikes, said Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere. The Belgian team announced on Friday that it would ride Eddy Merckx bikes for the coming three years.

    As recently as ten days ago, Specialized had hoped to help attract Contador to Quick Step for the 2010 season, and has announced a personal deal with the Tour de France winner. However, Contador then announced that he would in all likelihood stay with Astana nex year, and it seems equally likely that Specialized will provide bikes to the Kazakh team.

    "It all happened unexpectedly," Lefevere told "Until recently there were no problems with Specialized, but we no longer shared the same vision. Wednesday we decided to part ways and then did it quickly."
    Lefevere acknowledged to that the Contador action played a role in his decision to change bike providers, “but it's certainly not the only reason.”

    Meanwhile, former champion Eddy Merckx was pleased to have his bikes back in the ProTour. "I am proud to take the plunge with a top team like Quick-Step," he said. "Our bikes are top and can certainly stand alongside the other brands. But in cycling it is not like in the Formula 1, where the car makes the difference."

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  • PSK Whirlpool to be Continental for 2010

    Stanislav Kozubek and team PSK Whirlpool-Author hard at work on the front.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2009, 11:05 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Czech team PSK Whirpool will not continue as Pro Continental next year

    PSK Whirlpool-Author says financial constraints have forced it to return to Continental status for the 2010 season. Czech website reports that the team had intended to maintain their Professional Continental licence, but had been unable secure the sponsorship necessary to retain the higher status.

    PSK have held a Pro Continental licence for the past two seasons. The team's manager Vladimir Vavra said that with no guarantee of participation in top races, the team had been decided to take a step back to the Continental level for 2010.

    "We wanted to ride the ProTour races, but we would need to have the biological passport and ask for a wild card. That would cost us 65,000 Euro and there was no certainty that we would get a wild card," he said.

    PSK Whirlpool had been home to German riders Danilo Hondo and Patrik Sinkewitz this year, with the two riders responsible for six of the team's nine season wins. However, both riders will move elsewhere for next year; Hondo has inked a deal with Italian ProTour team Lampre, while Sinkewitz is currently looking for a new squad.

    The team has retained its title sponsors for next season and Vavra admitted that the team would aim to return to cycling's second division for 2011.

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  • Lifelong ban for Pfannberger after second doping violation

    Christian Pfannberger has been handed a life-time ban after multiple doping offences.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2009, 13:53 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Austria's anti-doping agency ban Pfannberger after EPO positive

    Christian Pfannberger has been given a life-long ban by the Austrian National Anti-Doping Agency, after his second doping violation in March this year. The Austrian, who has consistently denied ever having doped, has indicated he will challenge the ban.

    Pfannberger, 30, tested positive for EPO at an out-of-competition control in March. He had previously served a two-year ban from 2004 to 2006 after testing positive for testosterone.

    “This is what we expected, since he has been caught twice,” Herbert Kocher, Vice President of the Austrian cycling federation (Österreichischen Radsportverband, ÖRV) told Cyclingnews. “We are a federation that fights against doping with our full force and are therefore satisfied with the results.”

    Pfannberger turned pro in 2002 with the German Team Nürnberger Versicherung and rode for Team Volksbank Ideal in 2003. His first violation came in 2004 when he was riding for the Czech team eD System-ZVVZ. When he returned, he rode for the Austrian team Elk Haus-Simplon (2006-2007), Barloworld (2008) and Katusha (2009).

    The Austrian was Military world champion in the road race in 1999, and won the Under-23 International Thüringen Rundfahrt in 2001. As a pro, he won both the Austrian national road title (2007, 2008) and the mountain title (2006). He finished 23rd in the road race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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  • Cardoso signs with Footon-Servetto

    Manuel Cardoso pops the cork after a successful day.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2009, 17:22 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Portuguese Champion to join Mayoz Etxeberria and Celis on ProTour roster

    Footon-Servetto today announced the signing of Portuguese national Champion Manuel Cardoso, and Spaniards Iban Mayoz Etxeberria and Vidal Celis to their 2010 squad.

    The team have high expectations of Cardoso, whose national road race title in June came as one of seven victories this season. The 26-year-old was left team-less in August after the withdrawal of Liberty Seguros from cycling, but will now have the opportunity to continue his four year professional career in the ProTour.

    A winner of stages at the Volta a Portugal, Volta ao Algarve and Circuit du Lorraine, Cardoso will be one of three national champions on the Footon roster in 2010. Austria's road race Champion Markus Eibegger and time trial Champion Matthias Brändle are also on the team's books.

    Vidal Celis joins the team from Portuguese squad Barbot. The 27-year-old sprinter will step up to cycling's top level in 2010, having spent his four seasons as a professional with Continental teams, including Orbea.

    Mayoz Etxebarria, 28, is the most experienced of the three new Footon riders and will re-enter the ProTour in his eighth season as a professional. He leaves Xacobeo Galicia after two seasons and has previously raced for Euskaltel-Euskadi and Relax-Bodysol.

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  • Team Sky reveals recruiting, management methods

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) put in a solid performance but finished 27th.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2009, 21:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Communication, grace under pressure important to Brailsford

    Creating a successful top-level professional cycling team takes more than just hiring fast riders and getting sponsorshiph dollars. While the new British squad, Team Sky, has yet to get started in races, manager David Brailsford revealed the innovative management methods that have gone into planning the operation in an interview with The Times this week.

    Brailsford, whose leadership brought the British national team to multiple world and Olympic championships during his tenure, borrows philosophies from the business world and applies them to cycling, much like other succesful managers like Bjarne Riis of Saxo Bank and Bob Stapleton of Columbia-HTC.

    In a sport where most staff are hired by word-of-mouth, Brailsford required resumes even from the mechanics. He refused to hire more than four riders or staff from any one team to avoid having cliques among the team. He requires that everyone speak English because communication is key.

    Norwegian rider, Edvald Boasson Hagen, was one of the team's hottest recruits not just because of his prowess on the bike, but also because of his culture, and the team was built around him.

    "We identified him from Day 1 as the hottest young property in the sport," Brailsford told The Times. "Phenomenal potential. We want him on board, so what do we want around him?"

    "I think Scandinavians in the main are good communicators," Brailsford said. "We can sit down and have a conversation and you are pretty close to being on the same page; that may not be the case with someone from Portugal, southern Spain and southern Italy.

    "There are cultural traits of Scandinavians that lend themselves to the idea of nurturing and mentoring as against dictating and controlling. Their societies are democratic, caring, and I think that is reflected in their bike riders."


  • Boom race two cyclo-cross events in 2010

    Lars Boom (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    November 22, 2009, 10:45 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Dutch cyclo-cross Championships planned before Spring Classics

    Rabobank's Lars Boom has confirmed that he will ride in two cyclo-cross events early next year before he turns his focus towards his early season Classics goals on the road.

    The 23-year-old Dutchman will race at the GP Groenendaal - St Michielsgestel on January 3 and again a week later at the 2010 Dutch national Championship in Heerlen on January 10. Boom has won the Dutch title twice previously, in 2007 and 2008.

    A winner of the World cyclo-cross Championships in 2008, Boom has made a successful transition to road racing this year. He became the first Dutchman to win a Grand Tour stage in four seasons when he won stage 15 at the 2009 Vuelta a España.

    Despite demand from cyclo-cross race promoters for his presence at their races, Boom says his primary objectives are now with road racing, "but I have enough love of 'cross to do a few races this winter," Boom told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

    Boom's participation in the 2008/2009 cyclo-cross season saw him start with Rabobank on the road in May this year. With only the two cyclo-cross races planned for next year, he will have the opportunity to participate in the Spring Classics for the first time. He indicated to De Telegraaf that the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix were objectives for the early part of next season.

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  • Tragic accident takes Junior champion's life

    Antonj Orsani tops the junior podium
    Article published:
    November 22, 2009, 20:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian killed while training

    Anthony Orsani, the Italian junior time trial champion, was tragically killed in an accident while out training on Sunday near the town of Vinci in Tuscany.

    Orsani, just over a week away from his 18th birthday, was critically injured when he collided with a car traveling in the opposite direction. According to, he was conscious when help arrived, but died an hour later in the hospital.

    He was training with five other teammates in preparation for his debut year in the Under 23 ranks behind his new Team Mastromarco directors Giuseppe Di Fresco and Carlo Franceschi.

    Cyclingnews sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of this talented young rider.