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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 4, 2011

Date published:
August 04, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Astarloza returns after two-year ban

    Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Euskaltel - Euskadi) finished the stage 10th.
    Article published:
    August 03, 2011, 17:30 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Basque back in Euskaltel-Euskadi colours

    Mikel Astarloza returned to competition on Wednesday's opening stage of the Tour of Burgos, having completed a two-year ban after testing positive for EPO prior to the 2009 Tour de France, where he won a stage.

    As was the case before his ban, the 31-year-old Basque will be racing in Euskaltel-Euskadi colours. The team have confirmed that he has also signed a one-year deal with them through to the end of 2012.

    Euskaltel indicated earlier this year that they were set to re-sign Astarloza, and there had been suggestions that he would appear for them almost as soon as his ban ended on June 26. However, team manager Igor González de Galdeano has held him back, preferring to let him sharpen his fitness by training rather than racing.

    Astarloza lined up with a strong Euskaltel team in Burgos, with Tour stage winner Samuel Sánchez and Giro stage winners Igor Antón and Mikel Nieve all set to start. However, González de Galdeano played down suggestions that Astarloza might feature in the team’s Vuelta a España line-up in two weeks.

    “After two years without competing that would be rushing things,” he told Biciciclismo. “We will see, but we’ve got an alternative calendar prepared for him.”

  • Andrea Pinarello dies after heart attack

    The Team Sky Pinarello bikes
    Article published:
    August 03, 2011, 18:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Son of Italian bike maker dead at 40

    Andrea Pinarello, the son of  the Pinarello bicycle manufacturer founder Giovanni, collapsed and died following the opening stage of an amateur cycling race, according to reports in Italy.

    The 40-year-old suffered a heart attack following the first stage of the Giro del Friuli, an amateur Italian stage race. He is reported to have collapsed immediately after crossing the finish line in apparent good health.

    Paramedics successfully revived him, but a second heart attack shortly afterwards was to prove fatal.

    Andrea, who had a long association with the highly-regarded Italian bike manufacturing family, is survived by his wife and two children.

    The Pinarello family has close links to sport, sponsoring major professional teams and riders of the calbire of Miguel Indurain for many years. The company currnetly supplies bikes to Team Sky and Movistar.

    Cyclingnews extends its condolences to the family and friends of Pinarello.

  • Rosseler to join Garmin-Cervélo

    Three Days of De Panne overall winner Sébastien Rosseler (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    August 03, 2011, 19:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian leaves RadioShack

    Belgian Sébastien Rosseler announced yesterday that he intends to sign with the Garmin-Cervélo team for the coming seasons. The 30-year-old from Borgloon, Belgium revealed the switch on his personal web site yesterday. Cyclingnews received confirmation of the potential acquisition, but according to Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters, Rosseler has yet to put a pen to the paperwork to finalize the deal.

    Rosseler's announcement indicated that he is being brought in as a motor for the team's time trial squad with an aim toward the new team time trial world championship race which is being instituted in 2012.

    Rosseler is a notable time trial talent, having won the Driedaagse De Panne - Koksijde in the final race against the clock this year, and has won tests in the Tour of Belgium, 4 Jours de Dunkerque and Eneco Tour and was twice second in his national championships.

    He is also strong in the Spring Classics, having won the Brabantse Pijl from a breakaway in 2010.

    After five seasons with Quick Step, Rosseler joined Team RadioShack in 2010.

  • Lampre lose €250,000 of kit in truck fire

    Lampre used Wilier's new TwinFoil aero bike in the team time trial.
    Article published:
    August 03, 2011, 20:27 BST
    Peter Cossins

    No one injured

    The Lampre-ISD team lost an estimated €250,000 of bikes and other racing kit when one of the team’s trucks was destroyed by fire on a motorway in north-east Spain. The fire broke out when a tyre burst as the truck was traveling on the AP-1 motorway near Burgos.

    The explosion caused a fire to break out in the compartment containing the team’s bikes and other equipment. Although fire-fighters were soon on the scene, it took them almost four hours to put out the flames. They quickly had them under control but the heat was so intense that there was concern that they might flare up again. The incident caused huge traffic jams on the motorway. El Diario de Burgos reported that the jams stretched for 20km and took more than three hours to clear.

    No one was injured in the incident, although El Diario de Burgos reported that the truck’s driver and some of the riders were visibly upset. The riders had been following in the team bus behind the stricken vehicle, and later continued on to spend the night at a hotel in Burgos.

    The truck had been traveling from the San Sebastián Classic towards the team’s next race commitment at the Tour of Portugal. The team will be sending a new set of bikes and equipment to the race which starts on August 4.


  • Video: Marcel Kittel talks about his Tour of Poland sprint success

    Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano) remains in the leader's yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    August 03, 2011, 22:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Skil-Shimano rider looking forward to the Vuelta a Espana

    Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano) has dominated the sprints at the Tour of Poland but the German sprinter has revealed to Cyclingnews that he has his sights on bigger sprint scalps at the Vuelta a Espana.

    Kittel has won a hat-trick of sprints in the first three days of the Tour of Poland, beating the likes of Francesco Chicchi (Quick Step), Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo), Graeme Brown (Rabobank), Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) and John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad).

    “It was the first win in a WorldTour race for the team and for me. Now we’ve had three wins and so it’s first hat trick for us too,” he said.

    Kittel revealed that he and his Skil-Shimano teammates worked hard in a training camp in July as they prepared for the second half of the season and especially the Vuelta a Espana.

    Kittel is naturally looking forward to going head to head and shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) and all the other sprinters who will be at the start of the Vuelta in Benidorm on August 20.

  • Friedman recovering from iliac artery surgery

    Up close and personal with Mike Friedman (Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth)
    Article published:
    August 03, 2011, 23:00 BST
    Laura Weislo

    American hopes to get back to full speed in 2012

    Kelly Benefit Strategies/OptumHealth rider Mike Friedman is recovering from surgery he hopes will put him back to full strength for the next season. Earlier this year doctors discovered a kink in his iliac artery, the main line for oxygenated blood traveling to the source of power on the bike: the legs.

    The problem built up slowly over the years, robbing his pedal stroke of power and his mind of the self-confidence he had built up as a multi-time national champion and Olympian. Finally, at the Amgen Tour of California and US Professional road championships this year, his issues became so pronounced that he could hardly pedal at times.

    "I can remember having slow, incremental deficiencies with my left leg versus my right until it was so bad I literally couldn't pedal correctly with it," Friedman told Cyclingnews. "At first it was intermittent, sometimes it was good, sometimes it was significantly more sore. It would feel heavy like I had to think about kicking it over and pulling up, it would cramp first, it would fatigue almost immediately at Tour of California, especially in the drops or aero bars, basically I couldn't do what I used to be able to."

    The severity of the issue was a blessing in disguise, because Friedman was finally able to get a solid diagnosis: he had a 90-degree bend in the artery heading into his left leg which, in the riding position, would kink and "restrict blood flow to a trickle".

    It's a problem the cycling world has seen before: Australian Stuart O'Grady had the defect corrected in 2002 and went on to win Paris-Roubaix five years later. Other riders affected by the issue are

  • Plan B looking to forge links with WorldTour teams in 2012

    The team from Plan B Racing rode brilliantly to take out the teams' general classification category on the tour.
    Article published:
    August 04, 2011, 0:04 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Manager Wayne Evans upbeat despite challenges for WA team

    For the West Australia based Plan B Racing Team, the National Road Series (NRS) presents a number of unique challenges. Relative isolation in the West puts significant stress on the team’s modest budget which is forced to bring gear, riders and staff long distances whenever they are due to attend races.

    At the recent Tour of Gippsland in Victoria the team was forced to hire a mini-bus to serve as the team’s official transport. Not only was this not ideal as a race vehicle, it also meant race organisers forced them to be the final car in the convoy. On stage two into Wonthaggi, an ill-timed puncture ended up costing Sam Davies 6:03, largely because of how long it took for the team car to get to the rider. To put this in perspective Davies ended the Tour in 10th overall - 7:13 behind winner Nathan Haas.

    Despite the circumstances, Team Manager Wayne Evans remains upbeat and believes the team is exceeding the expectations of many, including himself who has his own three-year plan in mind for Plan B.

    "Our goal was always to start winning NRS events in year two, and we’ve definitely met and passed those objectives," Evans said to Cyclingnews. "This is also our third Tour where we’ve been able to put a guy on the podium in GC so we’re also ticking boxes there."

    The team also has been riding a number of Asian tour events with a view to upgrading their license to a UCI continental one in the next few years. Strong performances in Thailand, Singkarak, Malaysia and in the past in Vietnam have built a solid foundation, but the plan to upgrade next year may have to wait.

    "I think that may well have to be put on hold another year pending funding. We need funding and we need to bolster our roster so that we can be competitive in more races, and to continue to get invitations to bigger races on the Asian Tour."

    "The Asian...

  • Andy Schleck seeks improvement in time trial ability

    Andy Schleck struggled throughout the time trial, eventually losing 2:31 to Evans.
    Article published:
    August 04, 2011, 1:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de France victory depends on prowess against the clock

    Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) finished the Tour de France on July 24 as runner-up for the third straight year and told Belgian media today, prior to the start of a derny criterium in Antwerp, that victory in the French Grand Tour hinges on bolstering his time trialing ability.

    "If I want to one day win the Tour de France, I need to get better against the clock," said Schleck. "We conducted tests with the team to improve my performance against the clock, but it was clearly not enough. In the end, I lost the Tour on the second to last day."

    The 26-year-old Luxembourger started the penultimate stage, a 42.5km individual time trial, in the yellow jersey but was unable to defend his top GC position against Cadel Evans (BMC). Schleck started the 20th stage with a 53-second advantage over Evans, but ended the day in second place overall, 1:34 behind the Australian.

    Schleck is at home on the high mountains in the Alps and Pyrenees and hopes to strike a balance between his climbing and time trialing. "I also want to gain power, but I have to pay attention to that," said Schleck. "Increased muscle mass will mean that I will be heavier. I feel it in the climbs. I'll have to find a good compromise."

    The derny event was a new experience for the Luxembourg road champion. "I have no racing experience behind a derny. On the track, yes, but not on the road. This is something special, I am looking forward to it."