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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 29, 2011

Date published:
December 29, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Silva recovering from head trauma

    Russ Langley (XO Communications), Dan Holloway (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) and Iggy Silva (Wonderful Pistachios) climb together.
    Article published:
    December 28, 2011, 21:10 GMT
    Neil Browne

    Wonderful Pistachios sprinter expected to make full recovery

    Ignacio (Iggy) Silva (Wonderful Pistachios) is currently recovering from a concussion, fractured skull and broken collarbone after crashing at the San Diego velodrome last Thursday. The 21-year-old underwent surgery to reduce swelling in his brain, and according to the blog "Iggy Silva's Road to Recovery" started by Silva's friend Joe Steinberger, his prognoses for a complete recovery is good.

    "We have been told that the typical recovery time for a fractured skull is 6-8 weeks. Iggy will likely be in the hospital for the next week or so," Steinberger reports.

    The injury has left him confused but Silva has been able to recognize his visiting friends.

    "We were pleased that he remembered my name and that I was just there with him," writes Joe. "He still had his moments where he was not able to completely understand what we were saying to him, or he struggled to get the right words out to complete his sentences."

    According to the blog, Silva has been making daily improvements in his cognitive ability. A speech therapist has started to work with Silva taking him through exercises that connect commands with an action to perform such as "put on your sock" or "stick out your tongue."

    A San Diego native, Silva started racing on the concrete velodrome in Balboa Park at just eight-years of age. He quickly found success in the junior ranks and in 2006 was the national criterium champion, as well as omnium champion on the track. He has represented the national team on the velodrome in the world championships.

    It was these results that caught the eye of the Trek-Livestrong U23 team and in 2010 he became a member of the Lance Armstrong owned squad. The U23 team was considered a feeder to the RadioShack team with several of Silva's former teammates making the jump to a ProTour team.

    In 2011, Silva signed with Wonderful Pistachios – a California based team whose focus is the National Racing Calendar. This past...

  • Lewis to make comeback in Le Tour de Langkawi

    Craig Lewis (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    December 28, 2011, 22:47 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    American training again after second leg surgery

    American Craig Lewis will join his new Champion System Pro Cycling Team at the Tour de Langkawi in February. The race will mark a comeback from a second surgery to correct a broken femur he sustained in the 2011 Giro d'Italia.

    Lewis is just getting back to training after four weeks of rest following bone graft surgery on his femur, which had failed to heal completely following surgery in June.

    It was a painful procedure that set him back to square one, but it was necessary for the 26-year-old to continue with his career as a professional cyclist - one that he isn't ready to give up on.

    "There is a long road ahead to regain fitness and strength," Lewis told Cyclingnews, but said he is excited to get back into action in Langkawi.

    "It's a great opportunity for me to build a base for the rest of the year while helping the team out in the sprints and setting our GC guys up in the mountains. It's a role I'm used to."

    Passed over by the WorldTour teams following the demise of the HTC-Highroad squad, Lewis signed with the new Professional Continental Champion System team late this year, and is pleased with the support he has been given by manager Ed Beamon.

    "I think have a good bit to offer the team and I hope I can help grow the program into something bigger than it already is. I know I'm only 26, but I've been there major setbacks and major successes in previous years, I'm eager to pass along that knowledge to others.

    "I'm most excited to erase all of the bad memories I have from the Giro d'Italia. If I were to stop...

  • Cervélo reassures doubters on possible company sale

    Cervélo offers the S5 aero road frame in three different levels, all with the same aerodynamic performance. The top-end S5 VWD frameset costs US$5,900 but the standard version is half that at US$3,000.
    Article published:
    December 29, 2011, 1:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Company plays down major restructuring

    Bike manufacturer Cervélo has updated and elaborated on its recent statement that the company was considering a potential change of ownership.

    The company announced on December 23 it had entered into a financing agreement with Dutch company PON holdings, and flagged that the agreement would allow "both parties to agree on a sale of Cervélo in exclusivity."

    After a few days of uncertainty the company has now clarified the nature of its earlier statement, reassuring stakeholders that any sale would not affect the way the company would function.

    "A potential sale of the company allows us to continue to grow Cervélo without changing any of the things that make it special," reads the updated statement on the company website.

    "Cervélo will continue to be based in Toronto, with the same team of people, with the same desire to engineer the best bikes on the planet. It will stand by old products and create exciting new ones, starting with the new P5 which will be launched next month."

    Cervélo has supplied bikes to the sports' top tier with several teams including Team CSC, the Cervélo Test Team and now Garmin-Cervélo all riding on the company's top end machines.

  • UniSA-Australia continue to foster young talent at Tour Down Under

    Rohan Dennis (Australia) in the yellow jersey
    Article published:
    December 29, 2011, 3:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sanders directed squad to include Von Hoff, Dennis and McCarthy

    The UniSA-Australia team's legacy as a spring board for Australia's up and coming talent continues in 2012 with the Santos Tour Down Under stalwarts including five of Australia's best young riders.

    South Australian Rohan Dennis returns to the team and will be joined by sprint ace Steele Von Hoff, Jay McCarthy, Lachlan Norris and Tom Palmer. With the emergence of the GreenEdge squad, the UniSA team has had the luxury this year of having considerably more space to fit in youngsters.

    Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said it was great to see more younger riders in this year's race.

    "There is no better feeling for a cyclist then racing at the highest level in his own country. We look forward to seeing them perform after being awarded such a fantastic opportunity," Turtur said.

    Graham Fredericks, CEO, Cycling Australia echoed Turtur's sentiments.

    "The WorldTour is the pinnacle for professional cyclists and we're pleased to have a national team flying the flag for Australia,"
    Fredericks said.

    "Australia continues to punch well above its weight on the world stage and this is a chance for some of our talented younger riders to continue the tradition."

    The final two riders for the UniSA - Australia team will be selected after the 2012 Mars Cycling Australia National Road Championships (5 - 10 January 2012 in Ballarat, Victoria). Several riders including Joe Lewis (formerly of Trek-Livestrong) and Jai Crawford (Giant-Asia) have said they are targeting the spots up for grabs at nationals.

    The UniSA - Australia team for the Tour Down Under will be led by Team Manager, David Sanders and includes:

    Steele Von Hoff (Vic), Jay McCarthy (QLD), Rohan Dennis (SA), Lachlan Norris (WA), Tom Palmer...

  • Nibali the favourite for 2012 Giro d'Italia, says Basso

    Ivan Basso tries out mountain biking
    Article published:
    December 29, 2011, 10:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Stelvio key to Basso's pink jersey hopes

    Ivan Basso has named Vincenzo Nibali as his favourite for the 2012 Giro d’Italia and suggested that Liquigas-Cannondale will tackle the race with two leaders. It had been rumoured that Nibali would forgo the Giro in order to focus on the Tour de France, but Basso insisted that he would be happy to ride alongside Nibali in May.

    “My favourite for the Giro is Nibali,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m convinced that in the end Vincenzo will be at the Giro too.

    “The route as a whole is very well-suited to him and the absolute priority for Liquigas is to perform well at the Giro. Who will be the leader? Between us, there’s reciprocal respect. There’s no need to talk, the role of captain will be decided by the legs.”

    According to Liquigas-Cannondale manager Roberto Amadio, a decision on Nibali’s participation will be left open until late April. “We’ll take stock after Liège-Bastogne-Liège, keeping in mind the form and desire of the riders,” Amadio said.

    Basso believes that his own success or failure at the Giro will hinge on the race’s penultimate stage, which finishes atop the Stelvio after crossing the Mortirolo. At 2,758m, the Stelvio would be the highest summit finish in Giro history, but Basso is concerned that the weather might scupper his best-laid plans.

    “If it snows on the Stelvio on May 26, we won’t go up it, and it will become hard for me to think about winning the Giro,” Basso warned. “I can hardly...

  • De la Fuente still searching for team for 2012

    Geox - TMC 2011 - David De La Fuente (Geox - TMC)
    Article published:
    December 29, 2011, 12:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former Geox rider continues to train

    David de la Fuente is one of a number of Geox-TMC riders still without a contract for 2012 following the team’s disbandment. The Spaniard is continuing to train at home in Cantabria but has admitted that he has no firm offers for the coming season.

    “I don’t have anything, I’m waiting for replies. The prospects are bad,” de la Fuente told Marca.

    Geox announced its decision to withdraw from cycling sponsorship in late October, although the management team of Mauro Gianetti and Joxean Matxin continued their search for a replacement deep into the winter. “We were convinced that Gianetti and Matxin would have found something,” de la Fuente said. “We were too optimistic, but I don’t regret anything.”

    In spite of his current predicament, de la Fuente has trained throughout the winter. Without a contract and with no idea of when – or if – his season will start, however, he has been forced to train without any structure.

    “From the moment the season finished, I haven’t gone three days without touching the bike,” he said. “Now I’m going out every day, but not for more than three hours because seeing as I don’t have a team and I don’t have objectives. But I want to be ready in case somebody has a place for me, either now or later on.”

    Part of Alberto Contador’s Astana team at the 2010 Tour de France and a key lieutenant for Juan José Cobo as he rode to victory at the 2011 Vuelta a España, the 30-year-old de la Fuente admitted that he was surprised to find himself without a team. Cobo is...

  • Howard looking for more wins with GreenEdge

    Leigh Howard concentrates before the wheel race final.
    Article published:
    December 29, 2011, 14:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Deciding between GreenEdge and Highroad for 2012 would have been “very difficult”

    Having to choose between HTC-Highroad and GreenEdge for 2012 would have been “a very difficult decision” for Leigh Howard. The end of the American team meant, however, that Howard signed for the newly-formed Australian team, where he is looking forward to helping past and future teammate Matthew Goss win Milan-San Remo again, while looking for his own chance in other races.

    Howard told that he doesn't know how he would have decided between the two teams.  He was sorry to see Highroad stop, and said that it was “such a special team, because in the end we were all friends and every race was a lot of fun. Nobody got upset when they had to ride for someone else, because they were helping a friend and teammate.”

    Not that 2011, his second pro year, turned out as planned. “Two bad crashes at the start of the year tore up my season planning and then unfortunately nothing else worked out perfectly.” He ended the year with only one win on the road, a stage at the Ster Elektrotoer.

    He is thus looking forward in 2012 to “putting together all my hard work from this season and the experience from my first two pro years and winning more races!”

    At GreenEdge, Howard will be the junior of a number of top sprinters, but the 22-year-old sees himself as the team's number two sprinter, behind Goss. One of his top goals is to be in at the final of Milan-San Remo, to help Goss take a second consecutive victory, but “with a few exceptions, I will ride a different programme than Matt Goss for most of the season. So I will have the opportunity to find my own chance in sprints and to win as many...

  • Holm to direct Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 2012 Tour de France

    Brian Holm and Bob Stapleton at the Amgen Tour of California
    Article published:
    December 29, 2011, 15:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dane looks back stoically on end of HTC-Highroad

    Brian Holm was surprised to learn he will be at the Tour de France next year. The Dane, who will be a directeur sportif for Omega Pharma-Quick Step in the coming season, had thought that 2011 would be his last visit to the race, where he guided HTC-Highroad to six stage wins.

    At the recent training camp for his new team, Holm saw his calendar for the upcoming year. “I will take on one more Tour de France, although I would have thought 2011 would be the last one,” he told

    He also got to meet a former world champion at the training camp. “Tom Boonen has proved to be the strongest in the testing that has been made, so physically he still has what it takes. But it is clear that he now has been riding at top level for so many years that for him it is now both about finding his place and gaining new motivation,” he said.

    Holm looked back stoically at the end of HTC-Highroad, having worked for the team and its predecessors since 2003. “It is quite unsentimental having to close a team. When it's over, it's over.

    “Everything must go, when you close a team. This includes everything from the team bus to the bikes, jerseys and drink bottles. It all gets sold for  the highest possible price.”