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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, September 19, 2010

Date published:
September 19, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Bjarne Riis says Fabian Cancellara can leave Saxo Bank

    Time trial world champion Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) finished third in stage 17's 46km race of truth.
    Article published:
    September 18, 2010, 16:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Releases world time trial champion from remaining year on contract

    Bjarne Riis has confirmed that Fabian Cancellara will leave Team Saxo Bank at the end of this season, although he still has a year on his contract.

    “I would say that Fabian and I have made an agreement that he can be released from his contract. This means that he is not looking at our team for next year,” Riis said in an interview on TV 2 Sporten Saturday afternoon.

    “Fabian and I have had some fantastic years away, but it must end now. We agree that it is best that our paths separate. And we look forward to some new goals. Fabian cannot be replaced. So be it. But there must be a willingness and desire to ride on our cycling team,” Riis said, implying that Cancellara no longer met that criterion.

    Cancellara abandoned the Vuelta a Espana Friday only 20km into the stage, much to the apparent displeasure of team management. The world time trial champion told that same evening that he was “thinking of my own ambitions and goals right now.”

    Cancellara would be only one of many big names to leave the Danish team. Brothers Andy and Fränk Schleck are leaving to form a new team in Luxembourg, Matti Breschel is going to Rabobank, and both Stuart O'Grady and Jens Voigt have said they will leave as well.

    Riis has signed Tour de France winner Alberto Contador for the coming year.

    Cyclingnews will have more on this story as it develops.

  • Take two for Talansky at USA Cycling Pro Championships

    Andrew Talansky corners at speed
    Article published:
    September 18, 2010, 17:54 BST
    Peter Hymas

    l'Avenir revelation returns with high hopes as Garmin-Transitions stagiaire

    What a difference a year makes for Andrew Talansky. In 2009, he suffered through the US professional road race in Greenville, South Carolina to finish 8:20 down in 31st place, the conclusion to a lacklustre season with the Continental Amore & Vita - McDonald's squad. One year later Talansky, who spent 2010 racing as an amateur, returns to Greenville as a stagiaire for the Garmin-Transitions squad brimming with confidence and riding a wave of late season form.

    Riding for the US national team, the 21-year-old Napa, California resident finished 10th overall at the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d'Aosta Mont Blanc, a hilly, six-day Italian stage race from August 24 to 29 and followed that result with a stunning second place finish in France's Tour de l'Avenir, an eight-day showcase of world-class under-23 talent which concluded on September 12, one week prior to the US professional road championships.

    Talansky had already signed a three-year contract with Garmin-Transitions earlier this year to make his return to the pro ranks in 2011, announced after he claimed the U23 time trial national championship, but hadn't expected to fly the Garmin-Transitions colors as a stagiaire in 2010. But the Tour de l'Avenir changed everything.

    "We had thrown around the stagiaire idea a little bit but I was doing Tour de l'Avenir and then Worlds with the national team so there wasn't really a big opportunity to do a bunch of European races with them (Garmin-Transitions). We figured that me riding as a stagiaire didn't serve a big purpose," Talansky told Cyclingnews. "But on Sunday I talked to my agent and jokingly threw the idea out about me racing US Pro, because I felt really good at l'Avenir. I did US Pro last year and suffered through it so I thought it would be pretty cool to go back to that race with good form and actually try to get on the podium there.

    "He talked to JV (Jonathan Vaughters) and they were into the idea. They were pretty...

  • Riis on Cancellara: “I got the best out of him”

    Bjarne Riis waited patiently outside as his riders were presented
    Article published:
    September 18, 2010, 18:29 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Saxo Bank team to be built around Contador and Porte in 2011

    Bjarne Riis has admitted that it will be impossible to replace Fabian Cancellara in the Saxo Bank team after letting him end his contract, but has hinted the world time trial champion and multiple classics winner may never be as successful as he was during his five years with CSC and Saxo Bank.

    “Fabian is special and it’s impossible to replace him but he’s moved on and that’s how it is. I got the best out of him. But now it’s over. We had some great years together but we’ve agreed to go to separate and go our own way,” Riis told Cyclingnews just after reaching a deal to let Cancellara end his contract a year earlier.

    Riis refused to reveal the details of the agreement and claimed he did not know if Cancellara will now join the new Luxembourg team, BMC or Team Sky. All three teams have been linked to Cancellara in recent weeks.

    The Luxembourg team seems the most likely destination for Cancellara because he would join up with many of his former teammates and staff. However Riis questioned the viability of the Luxembourg project being created by his former staff members Brian Nygaard and Kim Andersen and captained by Andy and Frank Schleck.

    “I’ve agreed to let him go. We made an agreement. That’s all I’m saying,” Riis said.

    “I don’t honestly know who he is going to ride for, he didn’t tell me. It could be the Luxembourg team  but it's a strange how they are doing things. Nobody knows anything about the team, they haven’t said who will sponsor and fund the team.”

    Riis has lost his team leader for the cobbled classics but insisted that talented Australian Richie Porte will stay with Saxo Bank in 2011 despite being the target of several offers from other teams after finishing seventh in the Giro d’Italia and wearing the pink jersey for several stages. Riis intends to build the 2011 Saxo Bank team...

  • Nibali poised to be Italy's fifth Vuelta a España champion

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) turned himself inside out to keep pace with Mosquera.
    Article published:
    September 18, 2010, 20:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Giro d'Italia the next goal?

    With his determined performance on the Bola del Mundo, Vincenzo Nibali is poised to be come the first Italian winner of the Vuelta a Espana in 20 years. The Liquigas-Doimo rider didn't crack despite relentless pressure from Spaniard Ezequiel Mosquera on the final climb to Bola del Mundo, and is now 85km away from bringing home his first Grand Tour win tomorrow.

    "I still can't believe that I'm winning the Vuelta," Nibali said following Saturday's stage. "This is a very important victory. I'm entering the small circle of the winners of the Grand Tours. This is childhood dream come true. I've exchanged some messages with Ivan Basso in the past few days. He told me to stay calm because he was seeing on TV that I was pedalling well. In fact, everything was going exactly as I wanted."

    While Nibali didn't win any stages of the Vuelta, he came second to Igor Anton at Valdepeñas de Jaen and to Ezequiel Mosquera at Bola del Mundo.

    "I didn't know anything about the course of the Vuelta when I came to Sevilla," Nibali admitted. "The Spanish riders have been really strong here and they've made my life complicated. Today, I knew the final three kilometres were the most difficult ones, I had seen it my director's computer this morning.

    "When Mosquera accelerated the first time, I set my pace as steady as I could, I also kept some strength for the finale and that's why I never lost control of the situation and I even managed to come across to him and save my red jersey."

    "Vincenzo has demonstrated today that he's a great champion," said his team manager Roberto Amadio. Nibali rode with maturity beyond his 25 years, riding his own tempo as Mosquera attacked him on the steep sections in the final kilometres of Saturday's penultimate stage. He lost over 20 seconds at one point, but clawed his way back as the grade leveled out and in doing so brought himself to the brink of stardom.

    "This is actually the champion that Italian...

  • Reactions from the Vuelta's 20th stage

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) is back in the white jersey of Combination Classification leader.
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 4:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Bola del Mundo signals the end of hostilities

    Peter Velits (HTC-Columbia) - eighth on stage, third overall @ 3:02: "When Rodriguez attacked, it was the steepest part of the climb, so it was the hardest for me. I suffered a lot but it was worth it. I'm so happy to finish third in the Vuelta. I couldn't have expected anything better at the start in Sevilla."

    Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) - third on stage, fourth overall @ 4:20: "This is a good Vuelta for me. To finish fourth with a stage win is positive.

    "I would have liked to lose less time against the clock but I did my best to gain more time in the mountains considering how much I normally lose in time trialling so it's OK. I finish as tired as I could be, so I'm happy."

    Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) - fourth on stage, fifth overall @ 4:43: "I'm quite satisfied with my Vuelta at the end of the day. Today I did everything I could. I took the initiative but it wasn't a climb for me."

    Saxo Bank directeur sportif Bradley McGee: "What a spectacle, this stage up to Bola del Mundo! It's been a fantastic fight. I've appreciated the work done by the six riders left in our team.

    "We've taken care of some misbehaving during this race. I'm still waiting for a decent explanation for Fabian Cancellara's withdrawal. But Fränk Schleck's fifth place at the end is pretty good. I've enjoyed the Vuelta a lot.

    "The course was great and the actors have been great too. I'm looking forward to come back next year. It should be with a Spanish leader [Alberto Contador] in our team if everything goes according to plan."

    Xavier Tondo (Cervélo TestTeam) - fifth on stage, sixth overall @ 4:52: "I felt really good. It's too bad about two days in Asturias, I didn't feel good, but today the good feeling came back. The team was really good and we were fighting for a good GC. Everyone could see that we were fighting like a team. I think we...

  • Cancellara to decide Tuesday on worlds participation

    Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) signs on.
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 10:26 BST
    Cycling News

    World champion facing choices about his team for 2011

    Fabian Cancellara has to make some important decisions about his short and long-term future in the next few days but says he needs some time to recharge his batteries first. The reigning world time trial champion has to decide if he participate in this year's world championships in Australia and also needs to finalise which team he will ride for in 2011.

    “If I want to fly to the world championships in Australia this coming Wednesday, I must clear my head for a few days first, regenerate my body, and load the batteries again,” he wrote on his personal website. “On Tuesday I will likely go for a long training ride and then definitely decide whether I get on the air plane on Wednesday. At the end of a long season, I am just going day by day.”

    The Swiss rider did not go into detail as to why he exited the Vuelta on Friday without telling his team but said: “It was three hard weeks, in which I put myself fully at the service of the team. But the Vuelta was good for my form, I feel better now than I did at the start of the race. But I had to think of myself for once, and flew home two days earlier than planned.”

    Saxo Bank team owner Bjarne Riis announced late on Saturday afternoon that had agreed to release Cancellara from his contract for 2011, suggesting that he did not have the necessary “willingness and desire to ride on our cycling team.”

    Cancellara's name has been linked with the new Luxembourg team that will include the Schleck brothers and many of his closest teammates who also leaving Saxo Bank. However both BMC and Team Sky and also reported to be interested in signing him. It is now up to the Swiss rider to decide his future and plans for the end of season.


  • Mosquera satisfied with second at the Vuelta

    Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) was impressive on the final climb.
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 11:12 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    No regrets for veteran Spaniard after attack on Bola del Mundo

    Ezequiel Mosquera is set to finish second overall in the Vuelta a Espana today in Madrid, just 41 seconds behind Vincenzo Nibali, but he has no regrets about missing out on victory in his home stage race.

    Mosquera finished fifth in last year’s Vuelta and fourth in 2008 but his aggressive riding and fierce duel with Nibali has lifted him into a new dimension in the absence of Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde. He is likely to leave his Xacobeo-Galicia team for Vacansoleil for 2011, but knows it is now time to move on and begin a new, final part of his career away from the team from his home region in northern Spain.

    “I am very, very satisfied (with second place). Maybe I regret losing a few seconds on stages like Xorret or Jaén. Maybe I should have attacked a little sooner, but you have to have a lot of respect for Bola del Mundo. Everyone came into the finale a little scared. You cannot live with regrets,” Mosquera said.

    “You have just to keep fighting and look for opportunities. I gave everything I could. I couldn’t give anything more. I am satisfied because I won the stage that had been escaping me so far in the Vuelta and to finish on the podium behind Nibali is nothing to be ashamed of.”

    “I was always fighting for places of honour. When you get close, it makes you fight harder even though you sometimes think it may never arrive. There were so many Gallegos and so much support for me, it really made a difference.”

    “To come close to winning the Vuelta is the biggest thing for a Spanish rider. Every year, as you get older, the more you have to train and struggle. This year, I really didn’t get into the shape that I wanted until late into the spring. I kept fighting and now the last part of this season has been the best of my career.”

    Mosquera refused to specifically say if he had agreed to ride for Vacansoleil in 2011 but hoped that the...

  • Häusler out of German women's Worlds team

    Claudia Häusler (Cervelo Test Team) leads the combination classification.
    Article published:
    September 19, 2010, 11:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Men's U23 team for Melbourne named

    Claudia Häusler will not ride the world championships in Australia, the German cycling federation has announced. The Cervelo TestTeam rider suffered head injuries in a crash at the Giro dell Toscana.

    The Bund Deutsche Radfahrer also announced its U23 mens team, to be led by national U23 champion .John Degenkolb, who recently won two stages at the Tour de l'Avenir and finished third overall.

    Häusler was released from hospital in Lucca Saturday and will return home Sunday, Cervelo spokesman Geert Broekhuizen told Cyclingnews . The 24-year-old fell on her head in a crash of the second stage of the Italian race on Wednesday.

    “The doctors have forbidden her from doing any sport for the next two to three weeks, and she is not allowed to fly,” said German women's coach Thomas Liese. “This stops her from participating in the world championships.”

    Liese said that the decision as to whether to nominate some else to take her place will be made on Monday.

    John Degenkolb, who has signed with HTC-Columbia for the 2011 season, will lead the German U23 mean in Melbourne. He is a favourite for a medal in the road race, as is Marcel Kittel in the time trial. Kittel will ride for Skil-Shimano in 2011.

    German U23 Men. road
    John Degenkolb (Thüringer Energie Team)
    Maximilian may (Thüringer Energie Team)
    David Hesselbarth (Team Heizomat)
    Michel Koch ( LKT-Team Brandenburg)
    Philipp Ries (Team Heizomat)

    Time trial
    Marcel Kittel (Thüringer Energie Team)