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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 19, 2010

Date published:
August 19, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Ambitious Mancebo hopes to defend Utah title

    Francesco Mancebo (Canyon Bicycles) is back with a new team to defend his title from last year.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2010, 2:45 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Spaniard joins local Canyon Bicycles team

    Francisco Mancebo (Canyon Bicycles) is targeting a second consecutive overall title at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. The Spaniard proved to be on good form having recently won the 10-day Tour de Guadeloupe last weekend, but is unsure of whether he’ll be able to tack back-to-back stage race victories.

    “I just finished the Tour of Guadeloupe and I won that race, so I think I'm feeling good,” Mancebo told Cyclingnews. “It was not at altitude but rather right on the ocean. The race was very difficult and different in style with attacking happening almost the whole time. I finished that race on Sunday and traveled on Monday to Utah and started racing the Tour of Utah on Tuesday at the prologue.”

    Mancebo placed 13th in the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau prologue located at the Utah State Capitol. He rode the 4.48 kms course in a time of 6:21, 19 seconds slower than stage winner Taylor Phinney (Trek-Livestrong)

    “I felt, more or less, OK for the prologue in Utah,” Mancebo said. “I would like to win this race again but it will be very difficult, so it is more realistic for me to think about trying to get a podium. I would be happy with that.”

    The Tour of Utah offers some of the toughest stages in the US, passing the Rocky Mountain's Wasatch Range surrounding Salt Lake City. It challenges the peloton to 480 kilometres and more than 30,000 feet of high-altitude climbing, including two mountaintop finishes, over a period of six days.

    This year's event brought the return of Jeff Louder and Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team), along with their teammate US Professional Road Champion George Hincapie. New to the race this year is three-time Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) who is competing under the Mellow Johnny's banner. Other notable contenders include Marc de Maar and Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis), Darren Lill (Fly V...

  • Sprinters lead Australian Commonwealth Games road squad

    Mathew Hayman shows off his Team Sky jersey at the Tour Down Under, his first time competing as a professional without Rabobank colours on his back.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2010, 5:24 BST
    Cycling News

    Seven world champions lineup in track roster

    Australia will field a strong squad at the 2010 Commonwealth Games with its elite men’s road team lead by defending champion Matthew Hayman, who has the support of some of Australia’s top sprinters. The majority of the national squad for the Delhi, India event will be making their Commonwealth Games debut, indicating a generational shift in the nation’s representatives.

    Hayman will have the support of Allan Davis, Mark Renshaw and Chris Sutton as he tries to defend his gold medal on the tricky but pan flat course in India. Tour of Romandie time trial winner Richie Porte will be the nation’s best hope in the race against the clock, with the Tasmanian to be joined by members of the endurance track squad in the time trial event.

    The women’s road squad will also feature two of the nation’s top sprinters in Rochelle Gilmore and Chloe Hosking. Alexis Rhodes is also a member of the road team, having competed on the track at the last Commonwealth Games.

    The track squad features seven world champions in Ashlee Ankudinoff, Kaarle McCulloch, Anna Meares, Josephine Tomic, Jack Bobridge, Michael Hepburn and Cameron Meyer.

    Both the road and track teams have high goals to achieve if they’re to match Australia’s last showing at the Commonwealth Games. In 2006 the track squad won seven gold, five silver and three bronze medals, whilst the road team collected clean sweep of four golds along with three silver and two bronze medals.

    Cycling Australia High Performance Manager Paul Brosnan says he expects Canada and New Zealand to be strong opponents at this year’s event. "Of course we have high expectations because we are going to Delhi with quality athletes so we expect quality performances," said Brosnan. "On the track we have a lot of depth and whilst there are some with Games experience it's a predominantly young team.

    "We expect New Zealand will be very strong and although the...

  • Cunego future undecided, says agent as Liquigas and Geox wait in the wings

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre)
    Article published:
    August 19, 2010, 8:46 BST
    Cycling News

    HTC-Columbia, Sky, Cervelo and Vacansoleil in the transfer market

    When it comes to the cycling’s transfer market, no one has their finger on the pulse more than Alex Carera. The Italian agent works with over 50 riders in the professional peleton, including Damiano Cunego, Juan Antionio Flecha, Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel, all of whom have either signed new contracts for 2011 or are in the process of negotiating.

    Cunego, who has had a poor season to date, with no victories, is one rider currently on the market and with no deal for next year, has been sounded out by a variety of teams. Initially Garmin-Transitions showed interest but with the American team cooling on the idea a number of Italian squads, including the new Geox team have stepped in. The Italian could still also stay at Lampre, while Liquigas is another possible destination for the former Giro d’ Italia winner.

    “I had a very good, important meeting with [Mauro] Gianetti today,” Carera told Cyclingnews on Wednesday..

    “I had already spoken to [Giuseppe] Saronni before that. Now I just need to meet [Liquigas manager] Roberto Amadio. In all three cases, money isn't an issue: we could have come to an agreement even without meeting up. The question is more how they see Damiano's career going now. That's also what he wants to figure out, because he's at a crossroads. Is there any point focusing a bit on the Classics to come 4th and a bit on the Giro to come 6th, or should he choose one or the other. Either way, we'll make a decision shortly, and it'll be a two-year deal.”

    One team that Carera has monitored closely is HTC-Columbia. The American squad have let a number of riders depart. Andre Greipel and Gert Dockx and leaving for Omega Pharma, and could be followed by Adam Hansen, Vicente Reynes and Marcus Sieberg.

    However both Eisel and Renshaw have re-signed, a move that should help them retain the services of Mark Cavendish, who has drawn the interest from both Sky and BMC in recent...

  • HTC-Columbia name strong line up for Tour of Britain

    HTC-Columbia prepares to take Andre Greipel to the finish.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2010, 9:50 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Greipel, Renshaw, Rogers and Pinotti in provisional team

    HTC-Columbia has included sprinters André Greipel and Mark Renshaw in a strong provisional line-up for next month’s Tour of Britain.

    Mark Cavendish has opted to ride the Vuelta a España as he prepares for the world championships but many of the team’s other big names will be racing on British roads between September 11-18.

    Former world time trial champions Michael Rogers and Bert Grabsch are also in the team, as is current Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti and German time trial champion Tony Martin. Greipel has won 16 races this year, including stages in both the Giro d'Italia and the recent Tour of Poland and is currently riding the Eneco Tour. Renshaw is known as Mark Cavendish's lead out man, but the Australian is also a fine sprinter in his own right, as he showed with his stage win at the Tour of Denmark in early August.

    Rogers won the Amgen Tour of California in May and also finished on the podium at the Tour de Romandie and Criterium International. Grabsch and Pinotti will make their Tour of Britain debuts, while Martin returns after helping Boasson Hagen win the 2009 race. The team will be directed by Brian Holm, with Michael Albasini, Marcel Sieberg and talented Australian Leigh Howard named as reserves.

    Skil-Shimano and Topsport Vlaanderen teams

    The Tour of Britain organisers also announced the provisional line-up of the Skil-Shimano and Topsport Vlaanderen on Thursday.

    Skil-Shimano returns to the Tour of Britain for the first time since 2007, with Kenny Van Hummel and Robert Wagner in their line-up. Jin Long, Bert De Backer and Dutch duo Roy Curvers and Koen De Kort complete the provisional line-up, with Australian sprinter Mitchell Docker, Steveb Houanard and Tom Veelers named as reserves.

    The Belgian Topsport Vlaanderen line-up includes Tour of Denmark stage winner Michael Van Staeyen, Tour of Qatar stage winner and second overall Gert...

  • Sciandri still optimistic about Cavendish's world championship chances

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) didn't find the course to his liking.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2010, 11:26 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Anglo-Italian talks race tactics for Melbourne

    Despite Great Britain only having three places in the elite men's road race at the world championships, Max Sciandri believes Mark Cavendish still has a good chance of becoming world champion.

    The latest UCI ranking placed Great Britain in 15th place, meaning only three riders will line up in Melbourne on October 3 for the elite men's road race. The top-ten ranked nations are allocated nine places in the race, with the other places going to minor nations via Continental rankings. In 2009 Britain fielded a nine-rider team after being ranked tenth. Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins scored most of the points and their poorer results this year have caused the slip down the rankings.

    During his years as a British rider, Sciandri often found himself outnumbered and isolated but won a bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic. The Anglo-Italian now coaches the Great Britain Under 23 Academy but knows Cavendish well because the Manxman is based in Sciandri's hometown of Quarrata in Tuscany.

    "Only having three riders will definitely make it more difficult for Cav to win but it doesn't mean he can't win," Sciandri told Cyclingnews.

    "It's a pity that we haven't got a full team this year like we had in Mendrisio in 2009 but there's nothing we can do about it now and just have to create the best three-rider team we can.

    "Cav will have to ride really smart and try to benefit the work of the other teams. He should remember how Oscar Freire rides the worlds and the big classics. You don't see him for most of the day because he's hidden in the peloton. Then he moves up to the front and is always in the right place in the finale of the race.

    "Cav has proved that he can win without a lead-out train, he showed it when he won in Bordeaux at this year's Tour de France. I'm sure he's smart enough to know how to use the work of the Italian and Australia teams to his advantage."

    Sciandri is not involved in the team selection...

  • Cancellara to target time trial and road race at world championships

    Spring win number one for Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) at E3 Prijs-Harelbeke
    Article published:
    August 19, 2010, 12:42 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Swiss name six riders for Melbourne

    The Swiss Cycling Federation has confirmed that Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) will ride both the time trial and the road race at the 2010 world championships in Melbourne at the end of September.

    Cancellara won the time trial world title for a third time and finished fifth in the road race in Mendrisio last year. He has talked of skipping the time trial to focus on the road race in the past but will target both rainbow jerseys in Melbourne.

    Like many of the favourites, Cancellara will ride the Vuelta a España as final a build-up to the world championships. He is currently taking part in a three-day charity ride across Switzerland with the Laureus Foundation.

    Switzerland is ranked sixth in the latest UCI World Ranking and so can field a nine-rider team on the road. The Swiss Federation has named six of the riders, with the remaining three to be decided by national coach René Savary on September 10. Only Cancellara will ride the time trial for Switzerland.

    The six riders selected are:

    Michael Albasini (HTC-Columbia)
    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
    Martin Elmiger (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
    Steve Morabito (BMC)
    Gregory Rast (RadioShack)
    Oliver Zaugg (Liquigas-Doimo).

  • Lampre and ISD to join forces in 2011

    The Lampre team in formation
    Article published:
    August 19, 2010, 18:04 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian and Ukraine sponsors look to combine sport and business

    The Lampre team and Ukrainian metallurgical company ISD have announced they will join forces in 2011 with ambitions to create a major ProTour team.

    Lampre is currently the main sponsor along with Farnese Vini of the Italian ProTour team and ISD is the main sponsor of an Italian Professional Continental team that is captained by Giovanni Visconti. Geox is a key secondary sponsor of the Lampre team but has opted to have its own team in 2011.

    That team will have new, so-far undisclosed backers in 2011, with ISD joining forces with Lampre and team manager Giuseppe Saronni to create an Italian-Ukraine squad. The two sponsors have agreed to work together for at least three years and ISD will continue to run a Continental development team that will act as a feeder squad to the ProTour team.

    Lampre produces metal panels for white goods such as washing machines and so the agreement with the Ukraine metal producers could also lead to shared business interests in the future.

    "Both I and the Galbusera family, the owners of the Lampre company and Presidents of the team, were very proud of the interest shown by ISD regarding our team," former world champion Saronni said in a statement.

    "While respecting our current sponsors, we evaluated the project in detail, appreciating the passion and the ideas shown by ISD. We've now reached an agreement that will be finalised in the next few weeks, knowing well that we're building something important. The relationship between Lampre and ISD is about sport but could also be extended to the world of business."

    The agreement is expected to strengthen the team for 2011. So far only Michele Scarponi has confirmed he will join the squad for 2011, while long-time leader Damiano Cunego has yet to decide if he will stay with Lampre or go elsewhere.

    Veteran sprinter Alessandro Petacchi could be part of the team but is currently under investigation for doping in Italy. He will be question by...

  • Menchov signs with Geox

    Denis Menchov (Rabobank) secured third place
    Article published:
    August 19, 2010, 18:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Russian leaves Rabobank, joins Sastre on Spanish squad

    2009 Giro d'Italia champion and two-time Vuelta a España winner Denis Menchov has signed with Team Geox, the squad of Mauro Gianetti confirmed today.

    The 32-year-old Russian has been with Rabobank since 2005, but will now join 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre on the Spanish team for the next two years.

    "We're very happy to see Denis Menchov understood fast how deep the project we have in mind at Geox is," said General Manager Mauro Gianetti. "He'll be forming up a very competitive pair with Sastre for the big stage races, giving a higher point for the team when it comes to team strategy in 3-week races.

    "Menchov is a regular rider who excels in the time trials, and his characteristics will perfectly complement with the pure climbing style by Carlos. The Geox team is getting formed right within our plans, and we will add some interesting riders by the end of the season."

    Team Geox is in the process of being built out of the now-Footon-Servetto team after the Italian shoe manufacturer Geox signed on as the title sponsor of both a men's team and a women's team which will be based upon the Safi Pasta squad.

    Footon-Servetto scored just six victories in the 2010 season, only one of which was at the ProTour level. Its ProTour license expires at the end of this season, and without bringing in the points which transfer with riders it faced a difficult task in getting invitations to the sport's top races. It currently sits 29th out of 30 teams on the UCI's world rankings with only Skil-Shimano ranked lower.

    Sastre was announced as the first big transfer to the newly reinforced team, with several other top names like Damiano Cunego, Janez Brajkovic and Chris Horner also rumoured to be in talks with Geox.