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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 31, 2009

Date published:
December 31, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Sky to nurture young talent

    Team Sky sports director Scott Sunderland.
    Article published:
    December 30, 2009, 15:45 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Sunderland tailors race schedules around developing riders

    With a new team of twenty-five riders Team Sky has its work cut out when it comes to creating race programmes but senior team director Scott Sunderland believes that it’s possible to keep everyone happy and that there will be no preferential treatment shown towards home-grown talent. The former-pro also said that every rider will be riding a Grand Tour in 2010.

    The team had their first get together last month in Manchester. It was the first opportunity for all the riders to meet each other and with no press access it was the perfect time to set out team goals and riders’ schedules. The next team meeting is in Valencia, Spain, just after the official team presentation in London on January 4.

    “When it comes to deciding on a rider's schedule you first need to establish what his goals are and what his capabilities and capacities are. They need to fit with what the team’s goals are,” Sunderland told Cyclingnews from his home in Belgium.

    Sunderland was instrumental in the recruitment of the team’s riders and says that when it comes to the younger ones, nurturing talent rather than exploiting it is the key. “With all first year riders you need to see where their strengths and weaknesses are at U23 level. Then you need to give them a programme where they ease into the racing. You can’t just throw them out there in the deep end. That’s happened to riders before, to myself included. They need to get smaller blocks of racing and then a good period of rest. It’s a big learning curve for them competing against the riders they used to look up to,” said Sunderland.

    “Even younger ones, everyone gets a chance to do a three week Tour. Some riders will be doing the Tour and Tour of Spain too.”

    With potentially three Grand Tour rosters to fill throughout the year, Sky will be aiming to compete on all levels, but saving their most competitive line-up for the...

  • Villumsen cleared to ride for New Zealand

    Linda Melanie Villumsen (Denmark) won the bronze medal.
    Article published:
    December 30, 2009, 16:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    Will debut for new homeland at national championships in January

    Linda Villumsen has received final clearance to ride for the country of New Zealand, whose citizenship she adopted earlier this year. The former Danish rider will make her debut for her new homeland at eh national road championships on January 9.

    The 24-year-old, who rides for Columbia-HTC, said in October that she had considered the citizenship change for a long time. “My connection to Denmark will always be there, but it is here in New Zealand that I have found my life.”

    This week she received final clearance from the International Cycling Union and the Danish Cycling Federation to ride for New Zealand. She said she hopes to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, October 3-14, 2010.

    "Since I arrived here I have had a lot of support from BikeNZ and from everyone around and I feel that this support is giving me so much more than I have had before," Villumsen told the NZPA news agency.

    Bike NZ director Mark Elliot was enthusiastic about his new rider. "Add Linda to the likes of Cath Cheatley, who was 10th at the world championships this year, potentially Rosara Joseph and a number of other riders with professional experience, and we will have a powerful team for the Commonwealth Games."

    Villumsen had seven victories this season, including the overall title at the Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen and both the road and time trial national titles. She won the bronze medal in the time trial at the World Championships in Mendrisio.

  • Belgian Roesems retires

    Bert Roesems (Cinneli-Down Under) gets ready for the day's race. Photo ©: Tom De Meyer/
    Article published:
    December 30, 2009, 18:28 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former national champion calls it quits at 37

    Belgian Bert Roesems has called an end to his cycling career at the age of 37. The tall, lanky rider from Halle began his career with the Vlaanderen 2002 team in 1997 before spending three seasons with Tönissteiner - Colnago.

    Well known for his time trialing abilities, Roesems won the Belgian time trial championshipsand the Chrono des Herbiers in 2004, results which earned him a contract with the Lotto team, where he stayed from 2005-2008. He raced this season with the Cinelli-Down Under team.

    Roesems posted strong results in the one-day races during his time with the Belgian Lotto squad, placing third behind George Hincapie in the 2005 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, soloing to victory in the 2006 Nokere Koerse and placing 8th in Paris-Roubaix the same year.

    In 2007 his career was disrupted by a terrible crash in the Vuelta a Espana, where he broke his pelvis. From then on, he said, his cycling was never the same.

    "I am quitting with a good feeling," Roesems said. "I made the most of my career - 13 fantastic years," said Roesems.

    Roesems, who has a degree in communications, is studying to launch a new career in sports management.

  • Van Bon continues with Marco Polo

    Leon Van Bon
    Article published:
    December 30, 2009, 19:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Museeuw Bikes to supply Continental team

    The Marco Polo Cycling Team announced a nine-man roster for 2010, headed by Dutch rider Leon Van Bon, and adding Musseuw Bikes as a new sponsor for the coming season.

    Van Bon will be joined by fellow Dutchman Khalid Bounida, Malaysians Haidar Anuawar and Loh Sea Keong, Chinese champion Liu Yilin and his compatriots Wang Meiyin and Fu Xing as well as Australians Jonathan Lovelock and Brad Hall.

    Seasoned campaigners Van Bon, Hall and Loh Sea Keong will bring experience in the Asian and European racing scene to the team.

    Following the decision of main sponsor Trek Bikes to step down, it seemed fielding a team in 2010 would be a tough call for the Marco Polo Cycling management, but with new support coming in from Museeuw Bikes and FFWD wheels, the team will continue to be a platform for the support and development of young riders from non-traditional cycling countries.

    The main sponsor position of the Chinese-registered team has yet to be filled, but the team still intends to compete in the biggest races in Asia including Le Tour de Langkawi, the Tour of Qinghai Lake and Tour of Hainan as well as spending a few months competing in Europe.

    The team's first race will be the Mumbai Cyclothon in India.

    “I am glad we can continue the team for now, thanks to the fantastic support of our many loyal sponsors and of course also the new companies that have joined us," said team manager Gudo Kramer. "The fantastic Museeuw bikes will be a great weapon for our guys in the battles they fight in 2010 and years to come.

    "It is hard for talented riders from countries such as China or Malaysia to make the step to the big pro teams, even if they do have the talent, skills and motivation. Hopefully, our team will help the guys we have on board gain the experience they need and teach them how to become professional riders."


    2010 Marco Polo Cycling...

  • Nederlands Bloeit signs as title sponsor for Vos' team

    Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) on the podium after her victory in the women's La Flèche Wallonne.
    Article published:
    December 30, 2009, 19:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    World Champion's team signs Dutch flower co-op

    The Dutch team of World Champion Marianne Vos will see the Dutch agricultural co-op Nederlands Bloeit as title sponsor in 2010. The group will replace DSB Bank as the team's naming sponsor.

    Nederlands Bloeit was a secondary sponsor before DSB Bank stepped down as the team's title sponsor.

    "I live in the middle of an agricultural area, and we can race for a sponsor for which we all have a good feeling," said Vos. "It is far from the ideal budget we needed to get together, but I am glad it succeeded."

    Former pro Jeroen Blijlevens will be the team's director for the upcoming season.

  • Xacobeo Galicia optimistic in face of budget cuts

    Spanish team Xacobeo Galicia
    Article published:
    December 30, 2009, 20:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Debts from previous incarnation lead to 20% cut

    The Xacobeo Galicia team held a press conference today to express its confidence that the team will be able to go forward for the 2010 season in spite of a reduced budget and delayed racing license application.

    The team was denied its Professional Continental license by the UCI last month because it had not met the financial requirements, but appealed the decision. The UCI's license commission is expected to announce the final list of teams on January 4.

    Speaking at a press conference, Jose Ramon Lete Lasa, the vice president of the Fundación Ciclismo Galego (FCG), placed the responsibility for the team's "significant deficit" on debts owed by the company Valery Karpin, S.L. which sponsored the team for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

    Lete noted that the team has been able to meet all of the requirements set down by the International Cycling Union "in a timely manner" and said he has no doubts the team will be awarded the license.

    "The first step in debt management has been to reduce the team's budget by twenty percent compared to 2009, establishing it for the new season at 2,900,000 euros," Lete explained.

    Team manager Alvaro Pino said the budget cuts would have no effect on the team's performance in the coming season.

    "I think we have even more potential because the market situation has allowed us to strengthen our roster at the same time staying wtihin the limitations that we impose with the budget."

  • Bobridge chooses Bay Classic over nationals

    Jack Bobridge (Australia) Under-23 World time trial Champion
    Article published:
    December 30, 2009, 21:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Under-23 World Champion to replace O'Grady

    Jack Bobridge, the reigning under-23 world champion, will skip the Australian national championships in order to fill in for Stuart O'Grady on the SASI Team O'Grady outfit at the upcoming Jayco Bay Classic in Geelong, January 2-5. O'Grady is still recovering from a bout with pneumonia.

    "This is the best field we have ever had for the Jayco Bay Classic, " said Race Director John Trevorrow. "It was disappointing to lose Stuart O'Grady and Mark Renshaw to illness but to be topped up in compensation with Jack Bobridge and another world champion, Brett Lancaster is pretty special."

    "It shows the standing in which the event is held by the riders and those around them."

    Lancaster will line up for the Jayco VIS team alongside Leigh Howard and former Jayco Herald Sun Tour champ, Matt Wilson. The field also includes Tour de France green jersey winners Baden Cooke and Robbie McEwen and two time Olympic track gold medallist, Graeme Brown.

    Meanwhile other Jayco Bay Classic riders have been honing their preparations in Tasmania.

    Matt Goss (Degani Cycling Cafe) along with Howard was part of a six man breakaway that dominated the Launceston Cycling Classic, whilst Budget Forklifts' Scott Law has been the star of the scratch races at the Christmas Carnival Series.

    The 18 year old has tended to fly under the radar of many observers until now, but on his form in Tasmania which has included wins in the premier scratch events in both Launceston and Devonport and a second at Latrobe, the 2010 Jayco Bay Classic might be his breakthrough competition.

  • Public invited to ride with Team Type 1

    Long hours in the saddle The Team Type 1 professionals typically rode up to five hours a day.
    Article published:
    December 31, 2009, 11:01 GMT
    Cycling News

    'Pedal with the Pros' to raise funds for team

    The US-based Continental Team Type 1 has invited cyclists of all levels to ride with the men's and women's squads in February as part of its 'Pedal with the Pros' fundraiser.

    The team will be in northeastern Georgia for the February 12-14 camp, and will fly participants to the area, house them, feed them and kit them up with Team Type 1 gear for a $5,000 per-person registration fee.

    Team Type 1 CEO Phil Southerland said inquiries from fans of the world's only professional team with type 1 diabetics about how they could show their support for the program led to the creation of Pedal With The Pros.

    “This is a great way to give those people a real hands-on experience at what the ‘pro lifestyle’ – and more specifically, what the ‘pro lifestyle with diabetes’ is like,” Southerland said. “We can show people with and without the disease the additional steps our athletes take to be the best they can be, and how we use diabetes to make us better people.”

    Southerland said money raised from Pedal With The Pros will go toward supporting the European racing campaign for the professional men’s team in 2010.

    “This is just another step to put us on the fast track to the Giro d'Italia in 2011 and the Tour de France in 2012,” he said.

    The $5,000 per-person registration fee includes air transportation to and from camp (U.S. domestic flights only), hotel accommodations and meals. Participants also receive daily massages, full mechanical assistance and they will go home with a complete Team Type 1 cycling kit (jersey, shorts, socks and other accessories), logo bag and water bottle.

    More details can be found on the event’s website, Deadline to register is Feb. 4.

    Team Type 1 Promotion and Fundraising Manager Jennifer Helms said Pedal With The Pros promises to be a memorable experience, regardless of age or...