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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, September 6, 2009

Date published:
September 06, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Evans and Gerrans in Australia's long list for Worlds team

    Simon Gerrans (Cervelo TestTeam) wins the GP Ouest France
    Article published:
    September 06, 2009, 10:17 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Australia announce canidates for its World Championships teams

    Cycling Australia announced today its long list for the World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, September 23 to 29. Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans highlight a list of 18 men that will form an eventual nine-man road team.

    Evans is also listed for the time trial with three-time champion Michael Rogers.

    Long list of 18 men (final four also for time trial)
    Simon Clarke
    Baden Cooke
    Allan Davis
    Simon Gerrans
    Matthew Goss
    Mathew Hayman
    Brett Lancaster
    Matt Lloyd
    Peter McDonald
    Stuart O'Grady
    Richie Porte
    Mark Renshaw
    Wesley Sulzberger
    Chris Sutton
    Cadel Evans
    Adam Hansen
    Michael Rogers
    Cameron Wurf

    The road team (with two reserves) and two time triallists will be finalised after September 14, said Cycling Australia.

    Cycling Australia also announced the women and Under 23 men's long lists. It can bring a team of six women and five Under 23 men, and two each for the time trail.

    Elite Women (final four also for time trial)
    Kirsty Broun
    Ruth Corset
    Rochelle Gilmore
    Amber Halliday
    Chloe Hosking
    Emma Mackie
    Bridie O'Donnell (only TT)
    Tiffany Cromwell
    Alexis Rhodes
    Carla Ryan
    Vicki Whitelaw

    Under 23 Men (final three also for time trial)
    Daniel Braunsteins
    Leigh Howard
    Johnathon Lovelock
    Mark O'Brien
    Tim Roe
    Adam Semple
    Nicholas Walker
    John Anderson (only TT)
    Jack Bobridge
    Michael Matthews
    Travis Meyer

    This year's course in Mendrisio has two climbs, Acqua Fresca and Novazzano, in a short 13.8-kilometre circuit repeated 19 times, 262.2 kilometres. The Under 23 men will race 13 circuits and the women nine.

    The time trial covers three 16.6-kilometre circuits, 49.8 kilometres. The 650-metre long Rancate climb is the main difficulty with...

  • Basso keeps Vuelta's golden dream alive

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas) in Vuelta a España stage seven in Valencia.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2009, 12:35 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Wet time trial provides mixed results for Italy's Basso ahead of two mountain stages

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas) faces two demanding mountain stages today and tomorrow at the Vuelta a España. He lost time on his rivals in yesterday's Valencia time trial and needs to recover the difference to keep within reach of the leader's gold jersey.

    "There is no need to become hysterical, I felt well and experience has taught me patience is needed in a Grand Tour," said Basso. "From here to Madrid I will find enough climbs where I can make a difference, there is time to win the gold jersey."

    Heavy rains marked the first major time trial of the 2009 Vuelta yesterday. Basso eased his way around the course to avoid crashes. He lost 56 seconds to Samuel Sánchez, 41 seconds to Cadel Evans, 38 seconds to Alejandro Valverde and 31 seconds to Alexander Vinokourov.

    "It's clear the rain caused some difficulties for me," said Basso. "But, looking at the classification, the distances are restrained."

    Basso is 1:52 back from race leader Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), in 17th place. Cancellara will likely lose the gold jersey today.

    The riders face two mountaintop stages, Aitana and Xorret de Catí, today and tomorrow. Today's stage contains eight categorised climbs, including the final 21-kilometre climb up Alto de Aitana. Tomorrow ends with the three-kilometre Xorret del Catí climb, which contains sections of 20-percent gradient and leaves 3.2 kilometres to the finish.

    "The next two stages, where we will face demanding climbs, will be used to recover a little of the ground I lost."

    Basso will also consider that every stage finish offers bonus seconds of 20, 12 and 8 to the top three finishers.

    It is Basso's first time to race the Vuelta a España. He finished fifth in this year's Giro d'Italia and won the 2006 edition. He placed second in the 2005 Tour de France.

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  • Contador considers offers for 2010

    A very happy Alberto Contador (Astana)
    Article published:
    September 06, 2009, 12:39 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has four team offers for 2010

    Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has four different contract offers for next season, despite one-year remaining with current team Astana. One of the offers is a 16-million four-year contract extension with his current team, Astana.

    Teams Garmin-Slipstream, Caisse d'Epargne and Quick Step have offered contracts, a source close to Spain's Contador told AFP yesterday. Contador favours the offer from Spanish team Caisse d'Epargne, reported AFP.

    Caisse d'Epargne is the home of Spaniard Alejandro Valverde and has signed Italian classification rider Marzio Bruseghin for 2010.

    Contador has one more year in his contract with Kazakhstan's Astana and the team said he would remain for 2010. Contador, 26, said in recent months that he would rather leave the team.

    Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov helped create the team from the former Liberty Seguros team in 2006. He blood doped during the 2007 Tour de France and served a subsequent two-year suspension. He returned to racing last month with team Astana, but his presence might create rivalries with Contador and difficulties for a 2010 Tour invitation.

    Caisse d'Epargne and Belgium's Quick Step have room for a classification leader, but USA's Garmin already has Christian Vande Velde and Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins finished fourth in the 2009 Tour and Vande Velde fourth in the 2008 Tour.

    Contador won the 2007 and 2009 editions of the Tour de France. Organisers refused to invite Astana to the 2008 edition, but he raced and won the two other Grand Tours: the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España.

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  • Liquigas confirms Pellizotti and Chicchi in Missouri team

    Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) during his bid for the stage victory
    Article published:
    September 06, 2009, 13:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Italy's Liquigas brings Tour mountain man Pellizotti and sprinter Chicchi to Tour of Missouri

    Italy's team Liquigas confirmed its team for the 2009 Tour of Missouri, starting tomorrow in St. Louis. It will bring Tour de France mountain man Franco Pellizotti and sprinter Francesco Chicchi.

    Italian Pellizotti won the Tour de France's polka-dot jersey of best climber in July, and won a stage and finished third overall at the Giro d'Italia in May. Italian Chicchi won the final stage of last year's Tour of Missouri in St. Louis.

    Valerio Agnoli, Daniel Oss, Brian Vandborg and Alessandro Vanotti are the four other team members. Paolo Slongo will direct the team.

    Liquigas is the only team from Italy of the 15 racing the Tour of Missouri.

    The 3rd Tour of Missouri stars September 7 in St. Louis and ends September 13 in Kansas City. USA's Christian Vande Velde won the race in 2008.

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  • Andy Schleck abandons Vuelta with stomach cramps

    Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) rides in the Vuelta a España
    Article published:
    September 06, 2009, 16:50 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Andy Schleck quits Vuelta a España sick, three weeks before Worlds

    Luxembourg Champion Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) abandoned in the eighth stage of the Vuelta a España today. He stopped 88 kilometres into the 204.7-kilometre mountain stage to Alto de Aitana.

    "I am sick," he told Cyclingnews. "I couldn't eat since yesterday night and I had cramps in the stomach. I was not able to go on in the race."

    Schleck, 24, won the young riders' classification and finished second by 4:11 to Alberto Contador (Astana) at the Tour de France in July. He left the Vuelta in 51st place, 3:10 behind race leader and teammate Fabian Cancellara.

    He started the Vuelta to prepare for the end of the season: the World Championships, September 27, and Giro di Lombardia, October 17. He is a favourite for both of the races.

    Schleck won the Liège-Bastogne-Liège one-day race this April. He finished fourth in Italy's Giro di Lombardia one-day race two years ago, but pulled out of the 2007 and 2008 World Championships.

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  • Gavazzi renews with Lampre for two years

    Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre)
    Article published:
    September 06, 2009, 18:29 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Italian finds faith with Lampre-NGC, renews through 2011

    Italian Francesco Gavazzi renewed his contract with Giuseppe Saronni's team Lampre-NGC for the next two seasons. The team made the announcement today, hours before he finished third in the Giro della Romagna.

    "It's a great place to improve as a cyclist," said Gavazzi. "I have always felt trust from the team and I have never lacked encouragement."

    Gavazzi joined the Lampre team full time in 2007. This year he blossomed with several third place finishes: País Vasco stage five, Giro d'Italia stage three and 14, Tour de Suisse stage six, Tour de Pologne stage one and Eneco Tour stage five.

    He won the Under 23 Italian championships and finished fourth the Under 23 World Championships in Salzburg, Austria, in 2006.

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  • Vande Velde hopes to finish a tough-luck season with a win

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Slipstream)
    Article published:
    September 06, 2009, 21:26 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Garmin rider ready for an aggressive Tour of Missouri

    In sharp contrast to his outstanding 2008 season, which saw Christian Vande Velde place fourth in the Tour de France and the overall title at the Tour of Missouri, this year has been marred by one debilitating crash after another. The mid-west native ensured fans that he is fully recovered and determined to finish off this season with a repeat victory in Missouri.

    "It's very important to defend my title here and do a good showing for Garmin and myself in general," said Vande Velde, who was born and raised in the mid-western state of Illinois. "[Missouri] is my pseudo-hometown race, being close to here.

    "It's been hard this year, I've crashed more times then I care too. I've been just keeping myself together with tape a glue at this point in time," he joked.

    "It is an objective for us to do well in [Missouri]. Any time American riders come back to race here we always try to do our best. I've been training well at home to get prepared for this race."

    Vande Velde recently crashed in the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg, Germany on August 15 while his teammate Tyler Farrar went on to victory. The one-day classic was meant to prepare him for the Eneco Tour the following week, however, he pulled out of that event to avoid further injury and allow recovery time for the Tour of Missouri.

    "I crashed there quite heavily with two laps to go and stopped," said Vande Velde. "I bruised my hip bad because my handlebars went into my hip. But the bruising just started to go down a couple of days ago. I feel recovered, I did a nice ride yesterday about five hours, so I feel like I'm coming around to do a good showing here in Missouri."

    Vande Velde kicked off the '09 season in winning fashion with a solo victory in stage four of Paris-Nice in March. However, the initial signs that a tough-luck season would follow came soon after when he crashed, while in peak condition, during stage three of the Giro d'Italia in May. The team leader...