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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, October 23, 2011

Date published:
October 23, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Hoy out of European track championships with chest infection

    Sir Chris Hoy warms up for the keirin
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 15:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Plans to return to World Cup race beginning of November

    Sir Chris Hoy has dropped out of the European track championships with a chest infection. He is expected to recuperate in time for the next World Cup race in Kazakhstan on November 4.

    Hoy, 35, said on his Facebook page that he had put in a quick lap on the team sprint qualifying on Friday evening, but the team finished only fifth.

    Great Britain coach Shane Sutton confirmed that Hoy had not been feeling well for a while, and then finally withdrew Saturday morning.  "Chris got up not feeling well. He was dizzy in the warm-up and after a doctor's exam we decided to withdraw him," said Sutton.

    "He'll be disappointed - he was looking forward to the run-out here. The doctor says he's wheezing quite a lot and has blocked sinuses," said Sutton.

    "He's had this lingering for about a week but he went quite deep yesterday, in the team sprint, and that one effort probably pushed him over the edge. It's best for him to stop now, go home, recuperate and get ready for [the next World Cup race in] Kazakhstan."

    Hoy boasts four Olympic gold medals and ten World titles in his 12-year career.

  • Video: Brajkovič says he will have freedom at Astana

    Janez Brajkovic, the Slovenian champion, was eighth fastest
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 16:30 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Slovenian excited to come back to Kazakh team in 2011

    After a “pretty disappointing season”, Janez Brajkovič is preparing for his move from RadioShack to Astana, and has told Cyclingnews that he is excited about the challenge that lies ahead.

    A revelation of the 2010 Critérium du Dauphiné, where he won GC ahead Alberto Contador, the 28-year-old Slovenian told Cyclingnews in a video interview that he “put everything” into the Tour de France this year but crashed on stage 5 and pulled out.

    “I was super motivated after the Tour and probably I did too much in training," he said. As a result he missed his top form at his second grand tour, the Vuelta a Espana, and finishing 22nd.

    Brajkovič says he is “excited” to come back to Astana where he raced in 2008 and 2009. The team management was different then, as Johan Bruyneel was in charge. The Slovenian has worked with the Belgian boss since 2005, so his transfer was an important decision.

    After some “long talks with [Giuseppe] Martinelli”, the new team manager, Brajkovič decided to move to the team where he has “freedom” to choose his race schedule. He says he might go to Tirreno-Adriatico (instead of Paris-Nice where he took 7th this year), “one or two Classics”, the Tour of Romandie, the Critérium du Dauphiné or the Tour of Swiss “and then the Tour”.

    Brajkovič says he is ready to share the leadership with other riders. “Vino is our leader and we will work well together”, he said diplomatically.

  • Menchov looking for a new team

    Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) crosses the finish line in Nevegal with a time good enough for 7th place.
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 17:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Willing to stay if a new sponsor can be found

    Denis Menchov is already searching for a new team ahead of next season despite having a contract with Geox-TMC through 2012. The sponsor recently announced it would end its support at the end of this season, and the International Cycling Union has said that riders are free to find new teams.

    "I've already started to negotiate with other teams. Now, I will calmly consider all options,” he told Russian web site Velolive. “Of course they are first division teams."

    He denied that he would be going to the Russian team Katusha, however. “Not true. My future team will be abroad."

    Menchov said that he would be happy to remain with the team, if possible. If he does not yet have a contract with another team by then, “why not? After all, I have a contract with them with good conditions,” he said.

    Menchov, 33, has twice won the Vuelta a Espana and the Giro d'Italia once. He turned pro with Banesto in 2000 and rode for Rabobank from 2005 to 2010, before joining Geox this year. In 2011 he finished third overall in the Vuelta a Murcia, fifth in the Vuelta a Espana and the Tour of Austria and eighth in the Giro d'Italia.

  • Second rider from Canadian team admits to EPO use

    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 18:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Miguel Agreda says he acted independently of Papillon

    A second rider from the Canadian Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose has admitted to using EPO, reported today. Miguel Agreda Rojas, 34 of Peru, admitted to using the performance enhancing drug, but stated he acted alone, and not together with teammate Arnaud Papillon, whose suspension was announced this week.

    Papillon tested positive for EPO at the Canadian championships and admitted to using the drug. Agreda tested positive at the Québécois championships where he won the criterium.

    "It is with great regret that I have advised my cycling club president and my employer that I have been suspended by the CCES (Canadian Center for Ethics in Sports) for using prohibited substances, products I used as part of my cycling career," Agreda said.

    "I realize now the immense impact of the actions that I undertook, the grief, disappointment and disgrace incurred for the benefit of my personal sporting performance by the people around me who supported me."

    Papillon made similar statements in his own confession earlier this week, but Agreda asserted in his statement that the two were not part of an organised doping program.

    "I acted alone and without telling anyone, betraying thereby the ethical rules governing my sport," Agreda said.

    Agreda was not only a member of the Garneau team, but an employee of clothing manufacturer and team title sponsor Louis Garneau.

    "I realize now that because of this move, I have lost both my reputation as an athlete and the confidence of my teammates. I can hardly find words to explain my behavior and, as I can not fix the past, it only remains for me to apologize publicly, from the depths of my heart, to the employer that allowed me to practice my profession in this sport which is my passion."

  • Bruyneel with six Sports Directors at RadioShack-Nissan-Trek in 2012

    Team manager Johan Bruyneel has finalized Radioshack's 2010 roster.
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 20:00 BST
    Cycling News

    First meeting held, team meeting approaching

    Team RadioShack-Nissan-Trek has one clear goal for 2012:  “Yellow in Paris.” New team manager Johan Bruyneel has already taken the first steps towards that goal, holding a meeting with the team' six sports directors and planning three team meetings and training camps.

    The day after the Giro di Lombardia, Bruyneel met in Milan with Kim Andersen, Jose Azevedo, Dirk Demol, Alain Gallopin, Luca Guercilena, and Lars Michaelsen. “I have a great feeling,” Bruyneel said on his website, citing “excitement for the new season, the formation of a new team and the dreams and possibilities of achieving goals. It is a motivated group of directors, mixed with experience (myself, Kim, Dirk & Alain) and 'youth' (Lars, Jose & Luca).”

    The “younger guys” have the advantages of a better connection to the riders, he said. “Being a rider is fresher in their minds. They know and remember what it's like to suffer.”

    The whole team will gather next week, October 25 to 27, in Spa – Francorchamps, Belgium, for “meetings and team-building activities.” In addition, the staff will talk with each rider about their tentative racing programme for the coming year, and Bruyneel said that by then the final team roster would be publicly announced.

    The team will also hold two training camps, “One in December in Spain and one in January on the Spanish island of Mallorca.”

    Looking forward to the races of 2012, he noted that the Tour de France is “a very different Tour.  But we're not discouraged. We'll go with a very strong team, make the race hard and go into the...

  • Champion System signs Kemps, Clarke, Avery

    William Clarke (Leopard Trek) before stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under.
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 20:50 BST
    Cycling News

    New Pro Continental team filling its roster

    Cycling's newest Professional Continental team, Champion System, announced its first signings in the past week. Australians Will Clarke and Aaron Kemps and New Zealand's Clinton Avery will join the Asian team along with Estonians Jan Kirsipuu and Mart Ojavee, German Matthias Friedemann and Swiss rider Joris Hoillat, and Asian riders Wu Kin San, Xu Gang and Jaio Pang Da.

    Clarke raced the 2011 season with the Leopard Trek team, which has now been folded into the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek merger, while Kemps, a winner of a stage of the Tours of China and Qinghai Lake this year, raced the past two seasons with the V Australia team, competing primarily in the USA and Asia.

    Avery, 23, raced in 2010 as a trainee for RadioShack but signed on with the failed Pegasus team. He raced the season in Belgium as an elite rider, winining the Vlaamse Pijl-Harelbeke and a stage at Kreiz Breizh Tour.

    "We're fortunate to have three strong and experienced players from the Southern Hemisphere" said Champion System team Manager Ed Beamon.

    "Aaron certainly has the most depth of experience. He is a very fast finisher who will have the opportunity to take a leadership position in the kicks next year. Will and Clinton are big strong guys who like the aggressive racing and I think they add a real depth to the program. The fact that Aaron and Will have a winning history in Asia really compliments what we're attempting to accomplish with the Champion System team."

  • Amgen Tour of California might miss Solvang

    Chris Horner (RadioShack) races to the finish in Solvang.
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 21:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Santa Cruz pushing for stage finish

    The announcement of the host cities for the 2012 Amgen Tour of California is expected in the coming weeks, but may not include the town of Solvang which hosted the race's time trial for several years.

    The Santa Maria Times reported this week that the tiny Danish-themed town is stuggling under the burden of high costs to host the event, and said the all-volunteer local organising committee had asked the Solvang City Council not to apply to host the stage.

    The City Council asked the city manager Brad Vidro to negotiate with organiser AEG to try to reduce the costs, but requirements for additional security and hotel rooms weren't offset by an offer to waive the requirement to host the riders.

    Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson, who pushed to keep the bid alive, said, "I think they're asking for too much for what they're getting. I would rather pass next year if they can't make significant concessions."

    Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported yesterday that race organisers were refused a start in the Yosemite Valley after the National Parks Service decided that hosting the event would be in violation of rules banning for-profit events in national parks.

    The situation is more optimistic in Santa Cruz, which is hoping to bring the race back after a one year absence. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that the local organising committee had raised $70,000 of the $200,000 needed in promised funds from California Giant Berry Farms, a supporter of cycling of all levels in the region, and the Palo Alto...

  • Budget Forklifts' young guns Davison and Mcleod lead the way for team in Grafton

    Luke Davison and Brian Mcleod at the finish of the Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic. Mcleod was 3rd, while Davison edged Lachlan Morton for 5th.
    Article published:
    October 23, 2011, 7:39 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Duo rue fatigue in final kilometres, but help snag team's classification

    Budget Forklifts may not have taken the win on Saturday at the Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic, but the team’s performance, courtesy of determined rides from youngsters Brian Mcleod and Luke Davison was certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

    Davison ended up finishing fifth on the stage, but early on that seemed unimaginable with the 21-year-old yo-yoing off the back of the main field on Mount Gibraltar as he struggled to cope the accelerations of the lead group. To his credit, Davison hung on, riding his own tempo up much of the climb and eventually managing to rejoin the main field on the descent off the summit.

    It was only then, surrounded by teammates that the former junior track world champion began to think he could do something at the race.

    "Once I got over [Gibraltar] I would’ve been happy with top 40," said Davison. "I’d suffered a lot and been dropped so many times that I just wanted to do whatever I could still do for the team. I tried to recover, had something to eat, and just as the break formed I found myself on the front on one of the descents.

    "I had a lot of speed, and thought ‘what the hell - I'm more use there than here' and just ‘bombed’ across the gap as hard as I could. I just made it on to the back and from there just rolled through with the break."

    With Mcleod already in the break that put Budget Forklifts in the box seat for a big result in the classic. As the kilometres ticked by, and with the finish looming, it appeared that with Davison's fast finish for the sprint, and Mcleod's strength on the climbs, the team was even poised for an unlikely victory. Fatigue however would prove to be the duos undoing.

    "I talked to Luke with about 25 kilometres to go," said Mcleod. "I told him I wasn’t in a good place, but he pretty...