- Article published:
- August 17, 2011, 20:07
- 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 year.
Hosts Denmark are entitled to six starters thanks to their position in the European Tour rankings, as are Slovenia, Russia, Portugal, Poland, Ukraine and Croatia. Other countries to earn six-man berths thanks to their Continental tour positions are Morocco, Colombia, Venezuela and Iran.
In the women’s elite road race, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Great Britain can field seven starters, while Italy can add reigning world champion Giorgia Bronzini to its selection to form an eight-rider team.
All federations are entitled to send two riders to participate in the elite men’s and women’s time trials, with additional berths left open for outgoing champions Fabian Cancellara and Emma Pooley.
Team quotas for world championships men’s elite road race:
Spain, Italy, Australia, Belgium, Germany, USA, Netherlands and France
Luxembourg, Morocco, Colombia, Venezuela, Iran, Slovenia, Russia, Portugal, Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, Denmark
Switzerland, Norway, Kazakhstan
Brazil, Argentina, China, Japan, Eritrea, Lithuania, Austria, Turkey, Czech Republic, Estonia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Sweden, Ireland, Slovakia, Canada, New Zealand.
Costa Rica, Latvia, Algeria, Cuba, Uruguay, Ecuador, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Serbia
Team quotas for world championships women’s elite road race:
Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, Italy
Russia, USA, Belgium, Australia, Canada, France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Ukraine
South Africa, Estonia, Switzerland, Belarus, El Salvador
Non-ranked nations can field up to three riders, while outgoing world champion Giorgia Bronzini may be added to the Italian selection.
- Article published:
- August 17, 2011, 22:00
- 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 addition, the team won three stages and Cristian Montoya won the Best Young Rider and the Gobernacion de Antioquia won the team classification.
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge will host Gobernacion de Antioquia along with a second Colombia-based UCI Continental team, EPM-UNE, which is the third ranked team on the UCI America Tour calendar. Leipheimer is expecting these two teams to put forth strong performances given the high altitude and lengthy climbs, conditions the riders are accustomed to training and racing all season.
"There are going to be two Colombian teams at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and I'm counting on the Schleck brothers and riders from Garmin-Cervelo and the others to help out, to help control," Leipheimer said. "I can't imagine another team like this [Gobernacion de Antioquia], especially when we are going to be at even higher altitude."
When asked what team he will sign for during the 2012 season, Leipheimer said, "I am still working on it."
- Article published:
- August 18, 2011, 01:59
- 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 he’d make it as a professional cyclist. But where others would have raised the white flag Simon found a way and has become one of the most complete riders in the peloton."
Gerrans will aim to continue building on his improvements in the Ardennes and believes a win in one of the big Classics may well be just around the corner.
"I’ve always targeted the Ardennes Classics and after finishing third at the Amstel Gold Race this year I’m looking forward to preparing specifically for these races again with the backing of GreenEdge," Gerrans said. "To win Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallone or Liege-Bastonge-Liege would be something special. I know everything would have to go absolutely right for me to be able to achieve that and I’m doing everything I can to give myself the best chance."
He was also thankful to his current team Sky, who he has ridden for the last two seasons.
"I’ve had a really good two-years at Sky and it’s been a privilege to ride with a team that has set the benchmark on professionalism," Gerrans said of his current team. "I’m looking forward to riding the rest of this season with Sky and have appreciated the team’s understanding in why I made the decision to join a new Australian team."
Gerrans joins Stuart O'Grady, Jack Bobridge, Cameron and Travis Meyer, Pieter Weening, Sebastian Langeveld and Daniel Teklehaymanot at GreenEdge. The team hopes to gain a WorldTour license for the 2012 season.
- Article published:
- August 18, 2011, 03:26
- 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 US.
"One of the things that attracted me to team UnitedHealthcare is that everybody on this team believes in one another and fights hard for one another," said Redant. "That’s something I want to be a part of and contribute to. These guys have shown all year long they stay together as a group and are focused on achieving one goal together.
"In my conversations with Mike [Tamayo] and several members of the organization, that mindset and attitude are part of an overall philosophy and focus that rings true throughout this organization."
"When it comes to racing, UnitedHealthcare has done a great job winning a lot of races and getting on the podium. They truly race as one unit. There are a lot of races in Europe where this team can excel, show results, further develop its talent, and produce top riders in the sport overall. I see a tremendous future with this team and I’m looking forward to making it in Europe what it is in America."
Redant will link up with the team immediately in Colorado and will be part of the staff for the upcoming USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
- Article published:
- August 18, 2011, 05:33
- 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."
- Article published:
- August 18, 2011, 09:34
- 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.
- Article published:
- August 18, 2011, 11:29
- Cycling News
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.
- Article published:
- August 18, 2011, 12:16
- 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 showed good form last week in the Tour of Utah, he can be part of a dangerous duo.”
Bruyneel has once again decided to head into a grand tour without the option of a sprinter, choosing to supply both of his leading cards with ammunition in the mountains.
Tiago Machado and US national champion Matthew Busche will both travel to Benidorm. Busche was a key ingredient in the team’s success at the Tour of California earlier this year and with the national jersey on his shoulders it is a surprise that he will not join Leipheimer in Colorado, but Bruyneel clearly believes that the Vuelta will be the best option, perhaps with the idea of blooding him before next year’s Tour de France.
RadioShack line up for the Vuelta:
Riders; Jani Brajkovic, Matthew Busche, Markel Irizar, Andreas Klöden, Geoffroy Lequatre, Tiago Machado, Nelson Oliveira, Sérgio Paulinho & Haimar Zubeldia