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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 2, 2010

Date published:
December 02, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Berlin to host new one-day pro race

    Erik Zabel on the startline
    Article published:
    December 01, 2010, 15:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Velothon Berlin to take place in May

    Germany's capital of Berlin will be the scene of a new pro race as of the coming year. After three years of being a sportive ride, the Velothon Berlin will join the pro ranks on May 22.

    The new race has prominent support from Berliners Erik Zabel and Jens Voigt. Zabel will be the race director, while Voigt hopes to ride the event with the new Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project.

    "I hope very much that Team Luxembourg, for whom I now ride, will send me with a team to Berlin, because a start in my hometown would mean a lot to me,” Voigt told the dpa press agency.

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) has given the race a 1.1 ranking, but it intends to move up. By 2013, it plans to be a part of the World Tour. Germany's only other World Tour race is the Vattenfall Cyclassics, which is also organised by Upsolut Event GmbH.

    The race will cover about 180 kilometres, with the exact course to be announced later. After a long circuit outside the city, it is expected to end with multiple laps of a nine kilometre-long downtown circuit course.

    In addition to Voigt and the Luxembourg team, the organisers are hoping to attract the top sprinters, including German Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) and Robie McEwen (Pegasus).

  • McQuaid says UCI will appeal unsatisfactory Contador ruling

    UCI president Pat McQuaid speaks at the ProTour dinner
    Article published:
    December 01, 2010, 16:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    UCI and WADA looking for a fair result

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) will not put up with an unsatisfactory result from the Spanish cycling federation concerning Alberto Contador.

    “If we aren't happy with the Spaniards' decision, then we will consult with the World Anti-Doping Agency and go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” UCI president Pat McQuaid told the German press agency SID.

    The Real Federacion Espanol de Ciclismo is currently conducting proceedings against the three-time Tour de France winner, who tested positive for Clenbuterol on the second rest day of this year's Tour. There have been many statements made in support of Contador from within the federation and from other Spanish sources.

    "It must quite clearly be a fair result,” McQuaid said. “I can't say any more.”

    McQuaid did not lay out any time plan for the case but said he did not think it would take as long as the case against another Spaniard, Alejandro Valverde. “The Contador case is fairly straightforward, it won't be long and drawn out.”

    He rejected the federation's argument that the UCI's documents in the case are so comprehensive that they will need at least three months to come to a conclusion. “The fight against doping is getting more and more scientific. So the Spaniards must put together a commission that understands the contents of the documents and can reach a decision, just as the UCI does," he said.

    Appeal considered in German Clenbuterol case

    In another current Clenbuterol case, the German National Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency are considering whether to challenge the dismissal of doping charges against table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

    The Deutschen Tischtennis Bund dismissed the charges against the German, accepting his explanation that it came from contaminated meat. As evidence, he provided hair analyses from other members of the...

  • Saronni rebuilds the Lampre team for 2011

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre)
    Article published:
    December 01, 2010, 19:21 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Roberto Damiani to direct Cunego, Petacchi and Scarponi

    Lampre-Farnese Vini team manager Giuseppe Saronni has revealed how he has rebuilt the Lampre team for 2011, bringing in the experienced Roberto Damiani as senior directeur sportif to try and get the best out of team leaders Damiano Cunego, Michele Scarponi and Alessandro Petacchi.

    Saronni was the 1982 world champion during his own professional career and has been manager of the Italian squad since retiring at the end of 1990. He decided to make significant changes for 2011 after a doping investigation rocked the team this spring and a lack of results saw them slip down the UCI rankings.

    Saronni has fought hard with the Omega Pharma-Lotto team to secure Damiani’s services and has signed Michele Scarponi as the team’s stage race leader, allowing Damiano Cunego to focus on the Classics and stage victories. Alessandro Petacchi will again target the sprints after winning the green jersey at the Tour de France.

    The riders and staff have completed their first get together in Boario Terme, in northern Italy. They spent three days undergoing physiological testing by staff from the Mapei centre, tried new equipment and worked on race programmes for the rapidly approaching 2011 season.

    “We’ve been speaking about making changes for a few years,” Saronni told Gazzetta dello Sport. “We started discussions with Ballerini before his tragic death. We were looking for a figurehead who could co-ordinate all the technical aspects of the team. Damiani will do that and refer directly to me.”

    Damiani was under contract with Omega Pharma-Lotto and the Belgian team did not want to let him go. However Saronni is confident of resolving all the legal problems and Damiani was at the first Lampre meeting.

    “Teams look for good directeur sportif like soccer teams look for good managers,” he said. “Roberto had a year of his contract and some clauses that even he didn’t know...

  • Colli relieved at benign tumour

    Daniel Colli (Ceramica Flaminia)
    Article published:
    December 01, 2010, 20:21 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Italian supported by Geox-TMC team

    New Geox-TMC signing Daniele Colli has revealed that he is to undergo surgery for a benign tumour on his left knee. Colli was unable to travel to the Geox-TMC training camp in Spain on Tuesday as he continues his recovery.

    Colli first experienced pain in his knee during Paris-Brussels, his final race in Ceramica Flaminia colours. After the knee problems persisted, Colli underwent an MRI scan in Milan in early November, where he was informed that he had a tumour on his knee. The Italian then endured a nervous few weeks as he awaited results of a biopsy.

    “I closed in on myself and I only shared my desperation with a few people,” Colli told Tuttobiciweb. “I went through three weeks of hell, with my parents, my fiancée Silvia and my sister Alessia.

    “I felt like a man shipwrecked in the ocean. I didn’t say it, I struggled even just to think about it, but in the best of scenarios I already saw myself losing a leg.”

    Finally, after three weeks of purgatory, Colli was informed that the tumour was benign. “In that moment I felt myself reborn,” he said. “I became more appreciative of life. Nothing is for certain.”

    Colli will now undergo surgery to remove the tumour. “They will have to operate on me to remove the tumour and then they will rebuild my knee,” he expained. “They told me that being a cyclist was an advantage because we’re used to fighting, to getting over even the steepest hills: now the descent is beginning for me.”

    Colli was also quick to praise his new team Geox-TMC and manager Mauro Gianetti for their support in recent weeks.

    “Mauro has been really kind to me,” Colli said. “He came to visit me and he even invited me to the first gathering of the team. In truth, I tried to go, but as soon as I got on the plane I didn’t feel well. I’m still too weak, I need to give it...

  • Greipel impressed by Omega Pharma-Lotto team

    André Greipel (HTC - Columbia) is the first rider in yellow at the Tour of Austria.
    Article published:
    December 01, 2010, 21:37 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    German sprinter is confident he will have potent lead-out train

    André Greipel says that he is highly impressed with his new Omega Pharma-Lotto team and is confident that he will be able to maintain a run of success that has seen him win 55 races during the past three seasons.

    The German sprinter joined his new squad last week for a three-day team building get together in Marche-en-Famenne, in the Belgian Ardennes.

    “My first impressions of the team are pretty good. Obviously it’s a new team to me. In fact we’ve got 15 new riders because the sponsors wanted to have a whole new team. Consequently, the team building was extremely important,” Greipel told Cyclingnews.

    “It was important to get the team together as soon as possible. We did some good events together, climbing, lots of activities that were designed to boost teamwork, and some brainstorming. For example, they took us out into the forest and divided us into two groups – one that had a map and the other that didn’t and the objective was to find each other. I really enjoyed it.”

    The more serious task of preparing for next season’s sprints against the likes of Mark Cavendish, Tyler Farrar and Alessandro Petacchi will start when Greipel attends Omega Pharma’s first training camp in Majorca next week. Greipel is confident his new squad will be able to hold its own in the big sprint finishes.

    “I wouldn’t have left HTC if I didn’t think that the team had the resources to provide me with a very powerful lead-out train,” he stated. “We’ll have to wait until the first race to see how we all gel together, but the team is shaping up exactly how I want it.”

    New, bigger objectives for 2011

    As well as getting used to a new team, the German revealed that his programme for the coming season will also be substantially different. “It’s going to be an interesting year for me because I will...

  • Rabobank looks to top good 2010 season

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank).
    Article published:
    December 01, 2010, 23:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Gesink the absolute leader at Tour de France

    Rabobank is going into the 2011 season determined to outdo its 2010 results, which saw the team win not only Milan-San Remo but a stage in each of the three Grand Tours. Eight newcomers, including Luis Leon Sanchez and Matti Breschel, are moving in to help fill the gap left by departing captain Denis Menchov.

    The Dutch ProTeam made an early team presentation Wednesday at the Efteling amusement park. Eight new riders are replacing eight riders who have left, for a total of 27.

    The team will be stronger, general manager Harold Knebel said, according to the ANP news agency. “We want to win more and are in a position to win," he said. While looking for a broad range of victories, the team's main highlight will be the Tour de France.

    Despite the presence of the newcomers, Robert Gesink “is the absolute leader, and Sanchez knows that,” said sport director Erik Breukink. Gesink, whose father died recently as the result of a biking accident, “wants to show something beautiful this year,” Breukink said, and will go to the start of the Tour more motivated than ever. He finished sixth overall this year.

    In addition to Sanchez and Breschel, other new riders for 2011 will include Carlos Barredo, Michael Matthews and Theo Bos. "Sanchez, Barredo and Breschel are guys who have proven they can win good races. If you look at Theo Bos and Michael Matthews, they are two fast people. I think the team is stronger than that of this year. On paper in any case," Breukink said.

    Another fast man on the team is former world champion Oscar Freire. He was satisfied with his 2010 season, having won, amongst others, Milan-San Remo for the third time, but felt something was lacking. “It was not possible to win the most important race, the one in Australia, but I think I had a good season and I hope next year to become world champion again. Milan-San Remo is also very good for me, so I would like...

  • D'Hollander to lead Belgian women's team

    Grace Verbeke (Lotto Ladies Team) was overjoyed to win the 2010 Ronde van Vlaanderen
    Article published:
    December 01, 2010, 23:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Retired pro named as director of Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012

    Retired Belgian professional Glenn D'Hollander has been named as the new director of the women's professional team, previously known as Topsport Vlaanderen.

    The former Omega Pharma-Lotto rider will join the team as a directeur sportif on December 1, the squad announced today. Also coming in at the start of the new year is bike sponsor Ridley, which signed for two years with the team, which will be known and Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012.

    D'Hollander retired this year after a 15-year long professional career.

    Team Manager Christel Herremans confirmed a 14-rider roster, which includes Ronde van Vlaanderen winner and Belgian time trial champion Grace Verbeke.

    Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012 for 2011: Else Belmans, Ine Beyen, Latoya Brulee (Red Sun Cycling Team), Jolien D'Hoore, Liesbet De Vocht (Nederland Bloeit), Lieselot Decroix (Cervelo), Jessie Druyts (junior), Kelly Druyts, Sjoukje Dufoer, Kaat Hannes (Benelux Team), Maaike Polspoel, Annelies From Doorselaere, Anisha Vekemans and Grace Verbeke (Lotto Ladiesteam).

  • Garmin-Cervelo: Day two at Cayman training camp

    Robby Ketchell puts his two PHDs into practice with the Garmin-Cervelo riders
    Article published:
    December 02, 2010, 8:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    The riders relax with beach volleyball after another gentle ride

    On day two of the Garmin-Cervelo camp the riders for the 2011 squad were fitted with their bikes for next season. For the likes of Thor Hushovd it was a case of business as usual, having used the bikes for the last two years, while Christian Vande Velde and Dave Zabriskie could reminisce over their days on Cervelo when they rode for CSC.

    Once the formalities were out of the way the team enjoyed another relatively easy 70 kilometre bike ride along the Cayman coastline before indulgding in a game of beach volleyball.

    The team then had dinner at the Lighthouse Restaurant to end what was the quietest day of the camp thus far.

    You can check out the day in photos, right here.