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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 18, 2011

Date published:
August 18, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Great Britain to field eight riders at world championships

    Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) has won the London-Surry Cycle Classic.
    Article published:
    August 17, 2011, 20:07 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI confirms composition of Copenhagen peloton

    The UCI has confirmed the qualified countries and the size of each team for the road world championships in Copenhagen in September. The quotas are based on the UCI world rankings for 2011 as of August 15.

    As Cyclingnews reported on Monday, Great Britain, France and Luxembourg are entitled to greater representation in the men’s elite road race than in 2010 as they are placed in the top 10 of the UCI WorldTour’s national rankings. France will have a full complement of nine riders, along with Spain, Italy, Australia, Belgium, Germany, the USA and the Netherlands.

    In spite of lying in sixth in the WorldTour ranking, Great Britain can only field a team of eight, as that is the number of British riders to have scored WorldTour points in 2011. Although Fränk and Andy Schleck are the only Luxembourgers to feature in the individual WorldTour rankings, nations in the top 10 of the UCI classification are entitled to have a minimum of six starters at the Worlds.

    While Mark Cavendish will be pleased to have seven riders to support him in Copenhagen rather than the two he had last year, Fabian Cancellara will lead a reduced Swiss line-up of four, following his country’s failure to make the top ten of either the WorldTour or European Tour national rankings.

    World champion Thor Hushovd will be part of a four-man Norwegian squad, an increase of one from their representation last...

  • Leipheimer primed for USA Pro Cycling Challenge after Utah victory

    Leipheimer rode a controlled race to hang on to yellow.
    Article published:
    August 17, 2011, 22:00 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    American finalizing team plans for 2012

    After winning the Tour of Utah on Sunday, Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) is confident in his chances of securing overall victory at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge taking place August 22-28 in Colorado. The 37-year-old American will have his hands full, however, with a stronger field that includes Tour de France podium finishers Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) along with Andy and Fränk Schleck (Leopard Trek).

    "Yes, I have confidence going into the USA Pro Cycling Challenge," Leipheimer said. "It is a race that I want to win and it is important to me and our team. For sure, I am going to go there to try to win. I never say I am going to win because I could end up in 50th place but I felt strong in Utah and I'm doing well at altitude so there is not reason why I can't. But, believe me there are other strong riders."

    The USA Pro Cycling Challenge will include several Tour de France contenders, along side the top three riders are Tom Danielson and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo), Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad), among others.

    "It is not going to be my responsibility to control that race because there is going to be a much stronger field and I am going to have to ride smart and follow because they are going to be lining up," Leipheimer said. "But, I know that it is important for our sponsors and media, so it is definitely a goal for me."

    Leipheimer had his hands full at the Tour of Utah, containing the aggressive riders from Gobernacion de Antioquia. The Colombia-based UCI Continental team proved to be worthy opponents with climbers Sergio Henao and Oscar Sevilla placing second and fourth, respectively, in the overall classification. In...

  • GreenEdge add Gerrans to 2012 roster

    Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) enjoys his overall victory
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 1:59 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Tour of Denmark winner brings Classics pedigree to new outfit

    GreenEdge has announced that Simon Gerrans, a stage winner in all three Grand Tours, will join the team in its inaugural season. Gerrans, 31, recently won the Tour of Denmark, was third in Amstel Gold and adds to the team's Ardennes classics credentials.

    "This might be a new team on paper but it has been 20-years in the making by people like Shayne Bannan and I know the amount of preparation he does to get things right," Gerrans said of his signing. "In some ways joining GreenEdge has a coming home feeling to it as many of the people involved, like Shayne and Gerry Ryan, have been a big part of my career for more than 10-years."

    Gerrans rose to prominence in 2005 when as a first year professional riding in his debut Tour de France he rode to a gutsy third on stage 17 behind Paolo Salvodelli and Kurt Asle-Arvesen. He carried his form late into the season to take his first Herald Sun Tour in the same year - and has not looked back. Over the past six seasons Gerrans has gone on to develop into one of the countries most accomplished all-round riders. His palmares includes wins at the Tour Down Under, stages at the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana, as well as winning the prestigious GP Ouest France-Plouay in 2009.

    Team general manager Shayne Bannan was happy to have finally agreed terms with a rider of the pedigree of Gerrans.

    "Simon is now in the prime of his career with a proven ability to win on the big stage, which made him a target for us right from the start," Bannan said. "As an under-23 rider it was touch-and-go as to whether...

  • UnitedHealthcare appoint Hendrik Redant European team director

    Davitamon-Lotto team manager Hendrik Redant
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 3:26 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Fomer Lotto director 'eager and excited' to take on new challenge

    UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team have announced today that Hendrik Redant will join the team as director of the team's European racing arm. Redant brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the American team, having had a long association with Belgian team Omega Pharma-Lotto as well as a successful professional career as a rider.

    As a director and a coach he worked with riders of the calibre of Cadel Evans, Robbie McEwen, Jurgen Van den Broeck and Philippe Gilbert.

    Mike Tamayo, the general manager of UnitedHealthcare welcomed Redant to the organisation, and explained that it was step toward further expansion for the team's European racing program.

    "We are pleased to have Hendrik join the team," said Tamayo. "We are confident he is going to be a great asset and addition to our solid group of staff, riders and management team. His knowledge of and experience in the sport combined with his strong relationships in Europe will help this organization continue to grow in the right direction."

    Redant was left without a team at the end of 2010 after agreeing to join the ill-fated Pegasus racing project. The Belgian had, like many riders, been unsuccessful in finding new employment for the 2011 season on such short notice, and as recently as July had resigned hopes of finding a team before next year.

    The opportunity to join UnitedHealthcare for Redant was more than a case of timing however. The Belgian was enticed by the ambition of the team in Europe, and sees a lot of potential for growth team both their and even in the...

  • Video: Talansky looking forward to Vuelta

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cervelo) lays down the gauntlet
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 5:33 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Garmin-Cervelo neo-pro expects to gain strength from debut Grand Tour

    To race the Vuelta a Espana as a neo-pro is pretty unusual and Andrew Talansky knows that. However, the 22-year-old Garmin-Cervelo will compete in his first Grand Tour starting Saturday in Benidorm after a good preparation.

    In this video interview he explains he had a break in July, after being understandably "tired" with the schedule of the first part of the season.

    "There have been times when I've definitely been suffering and struggling a little bit," said Talansky. "But at the same time when you do get a few results it makes it very nice. I haven't won a race yet but it's motivating to know it's possible."

    Talansky showed himself in stages races (4th overall in the Tour Méditerranéen) and notably the time trial stages: at Paris-Nice (7th), Critérium International (5th), Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (5th) and the Amgen Tour of California (11th).

    Following his mid-season break from competition, Talansky rode the Tour of Poland in support of team captain Daniel Martin and now looks forward to the Vuelta.

    "It will give me a different level of strength," said Talansky. "Everybody told me you can train all you want, but once you have finished just one Grand Tour it brings you up to a different level."

  • Quick Step move closer to signing Martin

    Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 9:34 BST
    Daniel Benson

    German rider would boost WorldTour status

    Tony Martin’s transfer to Patrick Lefevere’s Quick Step team has moved a step closer after Garmin-Cervélo and Skil-Shimano both lost out on the German’s signature.

    However, while Martin’s agent confirmed to Cyclingnews that Martin had made a decision, he refuted claims that his rider had signed a contract, adding that minor details still need to be finalised.

    Patrick Lefevere also confirmed to Cyclingnews that no contract has been signed between the two parties.

    Martin does still have a contract for 2012 with Highroad sports and the American team were using his points and position in the sport to leverage a new title sponsor, but after all negotiations broke down Martin was in a position to negotiate with new teams.

    His haul of 227 UCI points, which puts him at number 11 in the world rankings, meant that a number of teams would not be deterred by a price tag in excess of €1 million. Quick Step, who are ranked 17th out of a possible 18 teams, are under pressure to sign riders in order to guarantee their WorldTour status.


  • Voeckler loses out to trotting horse

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) congratulates Othello Bourbon on a sporting contest.
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 11:29 BST
    Barry Ryan

    8,000-strong crowd at Les Sables-d'Olonne

    Given his exploits in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, it’s no surprise that Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has been a man in demand in his home country in August.

    With the criterium season petering out, however, Voeckler has been forced to take on new challengers in order to keep the masses entertained, and on Wednesday night, the redoubtable Frenchman raced a trotting horse in an exhibition at Les Sables-d’Olonne.

    In front of a crowd of 8,000 people at the Sables race track, Voeckler took on trotter Othello Bourbon in a best-of-three series. They faced off on a 380-metre straight, with the horse running on grass and Voeckler riding on a parallel asphalt track, and each competitor was allowed a flying start.

    Voeckler set out his stall early on by taking a tight victory ahead of Othello Bourbon and jockey Eric Raffin in the first round. But as was the case in the final days of the Tour, his efforts began to tell in the later stages, and Voeckler had to give best over the next two races to lose the series 2-1.

    As Ouest France dryly pointed out, “duels between professional cyclists and horses are not rare and generally turn to the advantage of the quadrupeds.”

    That may indeed be the case, but Ag2r-La Mondiale’s John Gadret upset the odds and scored a rare two-legged victory in a similar race in Reims in June. It should be noted, however, that his opponent was disqualified after breaking into a gallop at the midway point, but Cyclingnews understands that Voeckler had no objections to his defeat.


  • RadioShack announce Vuelta a España team

    Team RadioShack heads out in the morning.
    Article published:
    August 18, 2011, 12:16 BST
    Cycling News

    Brajkovic and Klöden to lead

    While Levi Leipheimer remains in the US for the Tour of Colorado, teammates Jani Brajkovic and Andreas Klöden will take aim at the Vuelta a España, which starts on Saturday in Benidorm, Spain.

    The Spanish grand tour will give the American team the opportunity to bury the memory of their disastrous Tour de France in which Brajkovic, Klöden, Chris Horner all crashed out in and Leipheimer failed to impress. Despite Horner remaining in the US as he recovers from a blood clot, the team has a realistic aim of competing for a podium place in both Colorado and the Vuelta.

    “During the Tour de France our fans all knew that crashes got the best of us,” said Johan Bruyneel.

    “One month later only the names of the winners stay in their minds. But part three of the cycling season starts now and it’s time for us to show our real value again and to show the Team RadioShack jerseys on the podiums. Levi, Andreas and Jani have recovered from their injuries. They are ready to show how they could have performed in July.”

    Klöden and Brajkovic will start as joint leaders in a mountainous Vuelta. While Klöden has proven grand tour pedigree – his last podium was in 2009 – Brajkovic heads into the race as an unknown in three week tours. His win at the 2010 Dauphine caught the eye and suggested more could come.

    “Andreas is one of the most professional riders I have ever worked with,” added Bruyneel. “In 2011 he was never sick and he was really ready for maybe his best Tour de France ever. If his back injury doesn’t flare up again, he should be able to place very high in Madrid. Together with Jani, who...