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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, October 10, 2010

Date published:
October 10, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Breschel confident for Paris-Tours

    Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    October 09, 2010, 10:23 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dane looking for success after second in Melbourne and third in Paris-Bourges

    Matti Breschel must be immune to jet lag. The Saxo Bank rider only got back from Australia on Tuesday night but still managed to finish third in Paris-Bourges on Thursday. And he is now aiming to do even better in Paris-Tours on Sunday.

    The Dane, who will ride for Rabobank in 2011, took the silver medal in the Worlds road race in Melbourne. It was his second time on the world championships podium, having also finished third in 2008. He is the first Danish rider to win two medals.

    Thursday's race was not easy for him after traveling so far and for so long but he felt better and better as the race went on.

    “I actually felt totally knackered and I was really close to dropping out along the way,” he told the Danish website Feltet.dk. “But when we came to the feeding zone, I got some food and a cola, and then I started really looking forward to the climbs. There I tried a few times to liven things up a bit, then I started really getting better and better."

    He felt better enough, in fact, that he took off in an escape group with about 100 km to go. That was too dangerous a move and the peloton reacted, although the group was only caught with 20 km to go. That gave Breschel time to rest up for the final sprint.

    "I was sitting really far back in the peloton with 500 meters to go. But then I was on the wheel of a rider who opened his sprint 300 meters out, which was perfect. I didn't have enough to take the win, though.”

    The Dane's season still isn't over. And Sunday's Paris-Tours is another chance to take a end of year result. He believes Paris-Bourges was excellent preparation for Paris-Tours, which he believes he can win.

    "When I look back, I actually think it was quite important that I rode a good Paris-Bourges,” he said. “It proved my shape is definitely good."
     

  • Nuyens signs with Saxo Bank for two years

    Nick Nuyens was all smiles on the podium in Austria
    Article published:
    October 09, 2010, 10:39 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Belgian likes team philosophy

    Belgium's Nick Nuyens will ride for Team Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2011. He confirmed that he has signed with Bjarne Riis' team for two years after riding for Rabobank in 2008 and 2009.

    Nuyens, 30 also had offers from his previous two teams: QuickStep and Cofidis but opted for Saxo Bank.

    “The choice was not easy,” he told the Gazet van Antwerpen. “I had a great time at both QuickStep and Cofidis. But Patrick Lefevere could only offer me a one-year-contract and the French mentality is not my thing.”

    Nuyens found what he was looking for in Denmark. "With Saxo Bank, I found a lot of enthusiasm about my future, also the whole team looks forward to my transfer. Moreover, the team philosophy speaks to me."

    Nuyens' biggest year was 2005 when he won two stages and the overall title at the Tour of Britain, as well as winning the two one-day races GP de Wallonie and the Omloop Het Volk, He won the GP de Wallonie again last year. This year his only victory was a stage at the Tour of Austria.

    Bjarne Riis is trying to rebuild his team for 2011 after many of his big-name riders opted to join the new Luxembourg Cycling Project team being created around Andy and Frank Schleck. Although the future of Alberto Contador remain's unsure after his positive test for Clenbuterol, the 2011 Saxo Bank team will include Richie Porte, Niki Sorensen, Chris Anker Sorensen and time trialist Gustav Larsson.  

     

  • Feillu targets Paris-Tours

    Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil) celebrates on the podium
    Article published:
    October 09, 2010, 12:16 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Frenchman ready for any scenario

    Romain Feillu only arrived back from the world championships in Australia late on Wednesday but finished second in Thursday's Paris-Bourges race and is confident of his chances at Paris-Tours.

    The Vacansoleil sprinter finished tenth in Geelong, just a few bike lengths behind Thor Hushovd and believes he has a great chance of winning the sprint on the Avenue de Grammont.

    "I'm not scared to say that it's a classic that is tailor-made or me," Feillu told l'Equipe on Saturday.

    "And I didn’t need to wait for the world championships to understand how good I am. I know what I can do and I'm confident."

    This year's Paris-Tours is the last time the end of season classic will be held on the long, straight road into the centre of Tours because a tram system is soon to built along the road.

    Feillu finished tenth in 2007, his first season as a professional and was 26th in 2009. However this year, he has made the race his final objective of the season and believes he can win a bunch sprint or beat other riders if a small group forms on the short climbs on the outskirts of Tours.

    His big rivals are likely to be 2009 winner Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank),who was third in Paris-Bourges, Oscar Freire (Rabobank), Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) and possible Tom Boonen (Quick Step).

    "It's easier for a sprinter like me to announce openly that I'm targeting Paris-Tours than a rider like Philippe Gilbert, who must try and avoid a sprint. I can go in the late moves on the short climbs but it's in my interest to wait for the sprint," Feillu said.

    Feillu showed his finishing speed at Paris-Bourges, despite still suffering jetlag following his long flight back to France from Australia.

    "On Thursday I woke up at four am and was unable to get back to sleep. But the jetlag was the reason why I rode Paris-Bourges. Racing is much better than just training, it really makes...

  • Cavendish frustrated by lack of new contract deal with HTC-Columbia

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) salutes the crowd
    Article published:
    October 09, 2010, 13:05 BST
    By:
    Dan Harbles

    Sprinter speaks his mind before Commonwealth Games road race

    Mark Cavendish has expressed his frustration over HTC-Columbia’s apparent unwillingness to offer him a new contract beyond 2011, when his current deal ends.

    Speaking in Delhi, where he will represent the Isle of Man in Sunday’s Commonwealth Games road race, Cavendish contrasted the support he gets from the people around him to his relationship with the HTC-Columbia management .

    “I’ve got great family, great friends, great teammates. It’s nice. People around me appreciate when it’s like that,” Cavendish said of the huge expectations that now surround him. “I’m not sure if my team does. Not my team as a whole, but the manager. I’ve not been offered a new contract yet - I don’t know why that is.”

    Cavendish continued: “I’m committed to a contract I signed a few years ago, [but] there’s been no goodwill, no bonuses, nothing. I feel kind of abused for what I’ve achieved.”

    Asked if he remained committed to HTC for 2011, he said: “I’m contracted to do it and I’ve been told I’m contracted to do it, so I have to do it. At the end of the day, I'm never going to stop racing because I love racing and I'm going to race with my teammates because they love to race as well.

    “Fundamentally, I ride my bike because I love to ride my bike,” continued Cavendish. “But obviously [because of] the pressures, it’s a normal person’s life that I've lost. You should see the benefits coming with that, and I don't get them at the minute, and I'm a little bit disappointed at the minute with that.”

    Cavendish insisted that the Commonwealth Games remain important to him, four years after he won a gold medal in the scratch race at Melbourne. He said he had no doubts about travelling to Delhi, despite reported problems in the build-up to the Games.

    “We’re in India,”...

  • Bronzini signs with new Colavita-Forno D'Asolo squad

    Italian, Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) stands on the top step of the podium, she now has track and world rainbow stripes.
    Article published:
    October 09, 2010, 18:54 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    World Champion to race in USA in 2011

    New world champion Giorgia Bronzini confirmed that she will be racing with the newly formed UCI registered Colavita/Forno D'Asolo for the 2011. The Italian hopes to bring her world-class sprint to some of the biggest women's races across the North America and Europe next season.

    "I had various contact with different teams this season but right away the idea of this new project of [Franco] Chirio is the one that convinced me the most," said Bronzini in a Cicloweb.it interview.

    Bronzini raced for the former USC Chirio Forno D'Asolo in 2005, under Franco Chirio, where she first turned professional on the road after an extensive track racing career.

    The move to the newly merged Colavita-Baci/USC Chirio-Forno D'Asolo team will being the women's world champion to North America as the team will have a mixed European/US schedule.

    "For a team that is built on Italian heritage, with many Italian sponsors in addition to the two title brands it doesn't get any bigger than having an Italian world champion on the team," Co-directeur sportif Rachel Heal told Cyclingnews. "The added media exposure that comes with the world champion with help raise awareness of Colavita and Forno d'Asolo in both Europe and the USA."

    "Already the team was excited about the merger and the opportunities it provided for the European athletes to experience the American style of racing, but being able to bring the world champion to some of the USA's major events is great for the team and for US racing," she added.

    The team's racing calendar is not confirmed to date, co-directeur sportifs Heal and Franco Chirio will be meeting soon to pin down a world-wide schedule.

    "Both directors realize the challenge to maintain 'win capable' squads on both sides of the ocean," John Profaci, the Colavita USA, LLC Vice President of Marketing, told Cyclingnews. "That's what the principals from Colavita and Forno D'Asolo are...

  • Colò believes Contador would not risk taking Clenbuterol

    Alessandro Colo'
    Article published:
    October 09, 2010, 19:27 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian's ban bad news for Tour champion

    Italian rider Alessandro Colò has been given a one-year ban for accidentally consuming Clenbuterol from contaminated meat and believes Alberto Contador's positive for the same drug could be have caused by the beef he ate during the Tour de France.

    Colò tested positive at the Tour of Mexico in late April while riding for the ISD-Neri team. He hired a biological expert who used official data from Mexico to prove that 18% of meat consumed in the Latin American country is contaminated by Clenbuterol.

    The Italian Olympic Committee's disciplinary panel believed him but because the WADA code deems that athletes are ultimately responsible for what they eat and drink, his ban can only been reduced by half, from two years to one.

    If the same rules applied in the Contador case, the Spaniard also faces a minimum one-year ban and would lose his Tour de France victory.

    "I hired a lawyer and a biologist to investigate my case. They couldn't go back and find the meat I'd eaten months earlier but they discovered official data that showed 18% of all the meat in Mexico is treated with Clenbuterol," Colò told Cyclingnews.

    "The judges believed me but I've still been given a one-year ban because the rules only allow a 50% cut in suspensions. I don't think that is fair. If they believed me that I didn’t take Clenbuterol they should have cleared me completely."

    Colò believes Contador

    Colò admits his professional career is almost certainly over and he fears that Contador may also struggle to clear his name and avoid a ban.

    He has read the recent accusations alleged by a member of the Astana team but suggests Contador would not have purposefully taken Clenbuterol in June because it can be detected in anti-doping tests.

    "If it hadn't happened to me, I wouldn't have believed Contador but now I do," Colò told Cyclingnews.

    ...
  • Gesink thrilled by second consecutive Emilia victory

    Robert Gesink holds up his trophy for winning the Giro dell'Emila
    Article published:
    October 10, 2010, 11:36 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dutchman says it confirms his decision to skip Worlds

    Robert Gesink's victory in the Giro dell'Emilia showed that he made the right decision to miss the world championships in Australia and focus on the end of season hilly classics. The Rabobank rider won the Italian race for the second consecutive year, for his third win of the season.

    “It was the first time that I have started such a big race with number one on my back,” he said on the Rabobank website. “That gave me a very special feeling, I must confess. And then to win, too. That makes it a very nice victory. And I know that it does not happen often.”

    Passing up on the world championships was not an easy decision, he acknowledged. “You only have one race a year in which you can ride for your country. That is special,” he said. “But I made an informed decision and opted for the fall classics in Italy. It is very good when you win the first race immediately. It is confirmation that my choice was the right one and gives me a lot of satisfaction. "

    The remaining two races on his 2010 calendar are the GP Beghelli on Sunday and the Giro di Lombardia next Saturday. His thoughts on the closing Classic? "Philippe Gilbert is for sure the favourite. But I saw that Jakob Fuglsang rode very good. He rode tactically very strong.”

    Rabobank directeur sportif Franz Maassen was proud of the 24-year-old Dutchman. “With the number one on your back it is hard to win anywhere,” he told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “This is a special accomplishment by Robert. He was already one of the great ones, and now he has the results to join the great men.” Gesink joined Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali as two-time consecutive winners of the race, and is the first non-Italian to do so.

  • Pozzato responds to world championship criticism

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) sees a lot of work ahead now that his teammate is in the race lead.
    Article published:
    October 10, 2010, 11:55 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Katusha rider hopes for success in Paris-Tours

    Filippo Pozzato has revealed he has yet to see a recording of the sprint finish at the world championships after being told by Italian national coach Paolo Bettini that he had missed out on a huge occasion to become world champion.

    Pozzato finished fourth in the sprint but came from much further behind in the final 100 metres after opting to follow Oscar Freire in the sprint instead of eventual winner Thor Hushovd.

    Pozzato was criticised by former Italian world champion Mario Cipollini before and after the world championships but has never been afraid to admit when he makes a mistake or respond to his critics.

    “I’m not afraid to say that it was my fault.” Pozzato told Gazzetta dello Sport as he prepared for today’s Paris-Tours.

    “The Italian team rode really well and were synchronised like an orchestra. I had cramp when Gilbert attacked and that affected my ride and so in the finale I wasn’t convinced of what I could do. I then also made the mistake of following Freire instead of Hushovd.”

    “I’m not saying I’d have won but… As I said, it’s my fault and I’m not afraid to admit it.”

    Cipollini claimed that Pozzato does not have the ability to win major classics. He responds with a question: “If we look at things that way, how many classics has Hushovd won? If we talk about the monumental classics, it’s one. So what does that mean?”

    “I can’t deny that I haven’t won much recently but nobody can say that I haven’t been consistent. If they do, they’re not being honest.”

    Paris-Tour revenge

    Pozzato, like Philippe Gilbert and many other riders, hopes to make up for his poor result in the world championships with a successful ride at Paris-Tours.

    He is still recovering from the long trip back to Europe from Australia but has often...