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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, April 15, 2010

Date published:
April 15, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Gollan coach Chapman passes away

    In the Australian national champion's jersey
    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 0:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Respected Hunter Academy coach dies

    Mick Chapman, the Hunter Academy of Sport head coach that oversaw the rise of 2004 Olympian Olivia Gollan, passed away on Wednesday after being admitted to hospital earlier in the week. The 67-year-old was a key figure within the sport in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley region.

    Chapman spent 20 years as the HAS head coach, having previously owned bike shops around the Lake Macquarie area and competed himself. He claimed a state team time trial title and a sprint title during his own riding days.

    "He just knew what was required to take a rider to the next level. Without him I would have got nowhere near to what I achieved," Gollan told The Herald.

    Gollan went on to claim events like the Scandinavian Open GP, Berner Rundfahrt and a stage of Le Tour du Grand Montreal. She was an Australian Open Road Champion in both the road race and individual time trial disciplines.

    Chapman also coached youngest son Craig to a stage victory of the 1989 Commonwealth Bank Classic, the only local rider to have won a stage of the race. Craig also represented Australia at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand.

    His passing caps off a difficult year for the family, after the life of eldest son Paul was claimed in a motor vehicle accident last year.

    Chapman is survived by wife Fran, son Craig, daughter Kelly.

  • Cozza set to ride Amgen Tour of California

    Steve Cozza (Garmin-Transitions) shows his 'tache
    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 3:01 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    The 'fastest ‘stache in the peloton' is coming home

    Steve Cozza, the fastest moustache in the professional peloton, is set to ride the Amgen Tour of California next month thank to making a rapid recovery after breaking his collarbone at the Tour of Qatar.

    Cozza underwent surgery and then spent hours riding the home trainer at his base in Girona, Spain, so that he could get back to racing in rime for the Volta a Catalunya in late March. He made it through the Spanish stage race and secured a place in Garmin-Transitions' team for the cobbled classics, helping Tyler Farrar finish fifth in the Tour of Flanders and win Scheldeprijs.

    "I did everything I could to get back in time for the classics, I didn't want to miss them," he told Cyclingnews at the Brabantse Pijl race on Wednesday.

    "I did the Volta a Catalunya, then came up north for Flanders, Scheldeprijs and then Roubaix," he added. "They're pretty hard races to come back in but my forms getting better and that's good. It was great getting the win with Tyler but then Roubaix was pretty bad. Everybody on the team except me and Danny Pate had some kind of crash and so we couldn't have had worse luck."

    Cozza didn't finish the tough Brabantse Pijl but will ride the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday before getting ready to race on home roads at the Tour of California in May.

    "I've got Amstel and then I've got a break until I ride the Tour of California,” he said. “It's so great to be riding it because I'm from Northern California and so it's like a hometown race for me. I'll get to see my family and that's always nice."

    Cozza is popular in Europe because of his attitude, the hard work he does for the Garmin-Transitions team, and of course, because of his handlebar moustache.

    Last week he was surprised to discover there is a group of supporters from Holland, who cheered for him at Paris-Roubaix, while wearing fake moustaches. They also posed under a huge banner saying: 'Supporter Steve Cozza –...

  • Sunny King set to shine this Saturday

    Karl Menzies (United Health Care) gets to the front of the field.
    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 9:41 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Latest NRC round a sprinter's speciality

    US-based Continental teams are gearing up for the next National Racing Calendar (NRC) stop at the Sunny King Criterium held on April 17 in Anniston, Alabama, with race organisers anticipating a showdown between the top sprinters in the nation.

    "We are glad to again host the best criterium specialists in the country to Sunny King," said the event's technical director, Curtis Cupp. "With the past three winners in the Pro 1 men's field and another top women's field, the competition should be fierce. We hope the world will watch all the action live on our web site."

    Hundreds of competitors will line up at the top of a gradual incline to start the racing. The one-kilometre, four-corner course is notorious for being fast, with an uphill drag to the finish line followed by a long descent on the back side of the circuit.

    UnitedHealthcare will return with defending champion Karl Menzies (pictured above) and a six-man support crew that includes Eric Barlevav, Matt Crane, Jonny Clarke, Jacob Keough, Andrew Pinfold and Adrian Hegyvary.

    "It will be a great race this year," said Menzies. "It's a good race and extremely well organised. I've been racing there for four years, every time the race has been great. It receives good coverage with video, and it's all very professional. They put on a great show.

    "It looks like it could be a smaller field but quality over quantity. All the fastest guys in the country at the moment will be there, by the looks of the startlist, so it should be a hard race."

    Menzies explained that UnitedHealthcare's participation in the event, "started out with Jonny Clarke, who wanted to do a race and we originally weren't sending a full squad but everyone jumped on board and we ended up having a pretty good team going.

    "We have a strong team heading there so it gives us a lot of options to have numbers in a break. Also if it's a bunch kick we have great sprinters for the finish as well," he...

  • Bugno bids for CPA Presidency

    Alessandro Petacchi with two time World Champ Gianni Bugno
    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 9:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Former Italian pro could be a popular choice

    Former professional rider Gianni Bugno has signalled his intention to run as a candidate for the Presidency of the professional riders' association - the Cyclistes Professionels Associés (CPA) - following the withdrawal of Cédric Vasseur from the position in December 2009.

    The 46-year-old Italian, one of Italy's greatest riders, was a professional between 1985 and 1998. He won stages in the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the road world championship in 1991 and '92 plus Classics such as Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and the Clásica San Sebastián.

    In recent years he has dedicated time to being a helicopter rescue pilot, appearing on the credits as the TV helicopter pilot during the 2008 Giro d'Italia. He also ran on the Partito Democratico (Democratic Party) ticket in the Lombard Regional Council election held earlier this year, although he wasn't elected.

    He stands a better chance of entering the politics of cycling however, having recently been vice president of the Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP) and recently wrote an open letter to various stakeholders, addressing the conflicts that beleaguered Vasseur during his tenure as President of the Association and his vision for the organisation should he be elected.

    Dear Friends,

    These days many riders (and non-Italian) and some of you have asked me if I wanted to ask my candidacy as president of the CPA.

    This is a prestigious position with a heavy responsibility. Especially now that the association appears crossed by internal conflicts and renewal requirements.

    I thank with my heart all those who thought of me, showing their confidence and esteem. In this regard, for the sake of clarity and transparency, I tell you right now my thoughts.


  • RadioShack to send riders to Gila

    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 9:59 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Armstrong, Leipheimer may return to New Mexico

    RadioShack has added its name to the list of ProTour teams that will send riders to this year's SRAM Tour of the Gila. Team director Johan Bruyneel confirmed that the squad will send three representatives to the five-day race, to be held in New Mexico, USA, April 28-May 2.

    Bruyneel confirmed the addition of the race to the RadioShack race calendar in his blog. He indicated that American riders from the team's roster will use the hilly Gila course to prepare for the Amgen Tour of California, which begins a fortnight later.

    "It's a late addition [to our race calendar], but we need to get some of our Americans racing before the AMGEN Tour of California," wrote Bruyneel. "Plus, it's a race that SRAM has put a lot of support behind, so we're happy that it fits within our schedule to support them and cycling in the US. So look for us at the end of the month in New Mexico."

    According to UCI code 2.1.009 the ProTour outfit is not permitted to start a full team however, three of its riders wearing non-ProTour team clothing is permitted by the sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI).

    The code prohibits ProTour and Professional Continental teams from competing in national level events where only UCI Continental teams of the country, regional and club teams, national teams and mixed teams may participate.

    "There are no changes to that rule," said Andrea Smith of USA Cycling. "Any Pro Tour riders contesting national-level events still have to ride under a different team name, in a different jersey and there can't be more than three of them in a particular event.

    Last year, Armstrong, Leipheimer and Horner raced under Armstrong's Austin-based bike shop Mellow Johnny's. Bruyneel did not state which three American riders would be participating in the event this year.

    Team RadioShack has six American riders that include Armstrong, Leipheimer and Horner along with Matthew Busche, Jason McCartney and...

  • Pedro Delgado turns 50 and reflects on his career

    Pedro Delgado at the 1989 Tour de France
    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 11:48 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Spaniard recalls formative years and Grand Tour triumphs

    It will be hard for some bike fans to believe given that Pedro Delgado still looks almost as fit and sprightly now as he did in his pomp, when he became a two-time Vuelta a España champion and won the 1988 Tour de France, but the former Reynolds, PDM and Banesto star turns 50 today.

    Still a regular at top level bike races in his role as a pundit for Spanish national broadcaster TVE, Delgado is interviewed at length in Thursday’s edition of AS. He reflects on how he and his brother sold copies of the local newspaper in their home city of Segovia to buy their first bike and how his passion from the sport developed from there.

    "At that stage all I was interested in was having a bike so that I could go to the river with my friends. I used to get bored when the rest of them went off swimming," says Delgado. Having bought a second-hand girl’s bike with small wheels, he was later encouraged by a friend to join the local cycling school and describes these days as the ones he has the best memories of.

    "I can remember my first victory, a race in which I also punctured and broke a toe-clip, better than I can my first victory in a Tour stage at Luz Ardiden. I’d only been out of Segovia a couple of times before and suddenly I found myself on the Moliner amateur team with a group of lads determined to enjoy life to the fullest and travelling all over the place.

    "When I thought about turning pro, my father didn’t want me to give up my studies in nursing. He told me that I wouldn’t make anything of my life with the bike. But I couldn’t train and continue my studies at the same time. So in 1983 I decided to devote myself totally to cycling. It was the best decision I’ve ever taken. Everything I’ve got in my life I owe to cycling."

    Riding for Reynolds, Delgado was thrown into the Tour de France in that first year and remembers it being a question simply of...

  • Leukemans linked to Katusha

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) leads Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil)
    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 12:42 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Russian squad confirms its interest as transfer talk begins

    Björn Leukemans will be in a strong position when he re-negotiates his contract with Vacansoleil next week, with ProTour squad Katusha reportedly interested in signing the Belgian rider.

    Leukemans indicated on Sunday that he had been approached by a "top rider" from another team interested in recruiting him, though, he declined to reveal the identity of that rider or their team. However, comments made by Katusha sports director Jef Braeckevelt on Wednesday indicate that the Russian squad could be the possible destination for the 32-year-old.

    "[He's been] top-ten in all of the Flemish Classics and made a big progression. Leukemans is the revelation of the spring," Braeckevelt told Het Laatste Nieuws. "Our Katusha team manager [Andrei] Tchmil asked me to make enquiries with Leukemans' manager. I will do this soon."

    Leukemans will sit down next week with his current team, Vacansoleil, to review the conditions of his current contract, which is due to expire at the end of 2011. However, Katusha has already demonstrated its willingness to sign riders from mid-contract terms with other teams. Alexandr Kolobnev joined Katusha this year after he was released from the final season of his deal with Saxo Bank.

    Katusha have emerged as one of the squads most active in the transfer merry-go-round that begins its traditional spin after the Classics season. Under International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations, teams are required to maintain confidentiality about potential transfers until September 1st, but there have already been strong signs that negotiations for the 2011 season have commenced.

    Het Nieuwsblad reported on Thursday that Katusha has also expressed interest in signing Frederik Willems from Liquigas-Doimo, with the Belgian also being courted by Omega Pharma-Lotto. And Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere told...

  • Cancellara withdraws from Amstel Gold Race

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) rides alone to an enormous victory.
    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 13:32 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Swiss closes the book on 2010 Classics campaign

    Fabian Cancellara has called an end to his incredibly successful spring Classics campaign after taking the decision to withdraw from this Sunday's Amstel Gold Race.

    Cancellara had hinted at the possibility of adding the Amstel title to his Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix wins, but has instead elected to rest prior to a return to competition at the Amgen Tour of California on May 16.

    "I have put in a 100 per cent effort in order to achieve my memorable victories this spring," said Cancellara, in a statement released on the Saxo Bank website. "I now feel I can't give the same effort to another long Classic and feeling this way, it makes no sense competing at all. I am simply tired."

    On Sunday, Cancellara became the 10th rider in history to claim the Flanders and Roubaix titles inside a single season. His success at the two major cobbled Classics had been preceded by victory at E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke.

    Cancellara's appearance at the Amgen Tour of California will form part of his lead up to the 2010 Tour de France, where he is expected to make his fourth successive appearance for Saxo Bank.

    Saxo Bank confirmed to Cyclingnews on Thursday that Cancellara will be replaced by André Steensen in the team's line-up for Amstel.