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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, February 4, 2010

Date published:
February 04, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Head trauma may end Nydam's career

    Scott Nydam (BMC Racing Team)
    Article published:
    February 03, 2010, 15:04 GMT
    By:
    Bruce Hildenbrand

    Effects of multiple concussions put Nydam at risk

    At last week's BMC Racing Team camp one noticeable absentee on the training rides was Scott Nydam. The winner of last year's Tour of the Battenkill and the 2008 KOM jersey at the Amgen Tour of California was not cleared by the team to ride. It has been a pretty complicated chain of events, but Nydam's crash last April in the Tour of the Gila was his fifth major concussion, two from his childhood and three from cycling which have left his future in the sport in doubt.

    While Nydam seemed to recover quickly from the Gila crash, a trip to see neurosurgeons at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California changed all that. The doctors quizzed him about all his previous head trauma and came to a stunning conclusion. "He told me 'I think you are done for the season'," said Nydam.

    "The nature of looking at brain injuries is that they believe concussions have a cumulative effect," said Nydam. The doctors were concerned that during Nydam's most recent concussion he had experienced bleeding meaning that the lining around the brain, the meninges, was damaged. Since the meninges cannot repair itself Nydam's brain has lost some of its protective layer. Any subsequent crashes could have tragic effects.

    "As it stands now, statistically, with five traumatic brain injuries, four with loss of consciousness, the last one being a contusion, I am at a higher risk of early onset of amnesia, dementia, anxiety disorder, depression, etc.," said Nydam.

    Nydam had some brain evaluation tests done at Stanford last August, three months after the injury, and scored only in the 20th percentile for brain functions. The doctors then told him he should never ride his bike again.

    Through one of the BMC team doctors, Scott Major, Nydam got hooked up with a program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing(IMPACT) program. The doctors there work with professional athletes in...

  • Tour of Belgium finale spiced up by la Redoute

    Lars Boom (Rabobank) won the 2009 Tour of Belgium.
    Article published:
    February 03, 2010, 16:03 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Organisers shuffle stages to increase excitement of 80th edition

    Organisers of the 2010 Tour of Belgium have announced the official course for the 80th edition of race, with the Côte de la Redoute to feature as one of nine climbs on the race's final stage.

    While the race will retain an individual time trial, officials have moved it to the penultimate day of the five-stage event in order to make way for a hilly finale around the town of Herstal in the Ardennes region of Belgium. Organiser Rob Discart explained that the change has been introduced in order to increase the excitement of the race's final day.

    "This year, the time trial does not fall on the last day as we wanted to create some variety. The ride in Herstal on the last day will decide everything," he said. "The finale has been spiced up with nine slopes, including the Côte de Theux, Côte de la Redoute and Côte de la Foret. The finish is located five kilometres from the Côte Bois la Dame. The rider that comes up this alone may well win the Tour of Belgium."

    The Tour will commence in Eeklo on May 26 with three days worth of flat stages that will see the peloton travel across Flanders and into Wallonia. The race will return to East Flanders for a 16.7-kilometre time trial in Herzele before moving close to Liège for the final day.

    Last year, the race was won overall by Rabobank's Lars Boom. The former cyclo-cross world champion moved into the lead of the 2009 race with second place in the final day's time trial. He finished 18 seconds ahead of teammate Koos Moerenhout and 28 seconds ahead of third-placed Dominique Cornu (Quick Step).

    2010 Tour of Belgium route:

    Stage 1, Wednesday, May 26: Eeklo – Eeklo, 156.6 km
    Stage 2, Thursday, May 27: Eeklo - Knokke-Heist, 162.7 km
    Stage 3, Friday, May 28: Knokke-Heist – Mechelen, 192.2 km
    Stage 4, Saturday, May 29: Herzele (ITT), 16.7 km
    Stage 5, Sunday, May 30: Herstal – Herstal, 173.7 km
    ...

  • UCI announces 27 women's teams for 2010

    HTC-Columbia's women's team for 2010
    Article published:
    February 03, 2010, 17:37 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Noris Cycling awarded licence, team from Sweden makes debut

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) today announced the complete list of women's teams that will compete across the calendar of women's races in 2010. A total of 27 women's professional teams have received UCI licences and represent 14 countries from four continents.

    Included among those teams is Noris Cycling, the former Equipe Nürnberger. The team still has not found a new name sponsor, but is prepared to ride a reduced schedule this season while they continue to search for a long-term financial backer.

    Five of the 27 teams are registered in Italy: ACS Chirio – Forno d'Asolo, Gauss RDZ Ormu, S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox, Team Valdarno, Top Girls Fassa Bortolo – Ghezzi, Vaiano Solaristech and Safi – Pasta Zara.

    Belgium, Spain and The Netherlands each represent the base for three teams, while Germany and France have two apiece. There is only one US-registered team, TIBCO, as the US-backed HTC-Columbia Women runs under a German licence.

    For the first time a team Sweden has been registered.

    According to the UCI, the national federations used a new registration procedure for the women's teams which required a bank guarantee from each team. “The higher quality of the registration documents sent to the UCI reflects the increased professionalism ...of the teams themselves.”

    The UCI's women's calendar began today at the Ladies Tour of Qatar with the opening stage won by Lithuanian Rasa Leleivyte of Safi Pasta - Zara. The Qatari tour will conclude on Friday with the Women's Tour of New Zealand and the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to follow this month. The season closes October 17 with the Chrono des Nations.

    There are nine World Cup races this season: Trofeo Alfredo Binda (March 28), Ronde van Vlaanderen (April 4), Ronde van Drenthe (April 10), La Fleche Wallonne Feminine (April 21), Tour...

  • BMC set to tackle heavy Classics schedule

    Sports Director John Lelangue went along on the ride.
    Article published:
    February 03, 2010, 20:52 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Baldato debuts as assistant director

    The BMC Racing Team of World Champion Cadel Evans is preparing for a heavy spring schedule which could include all of the major Spring Classics as well as the Giro d'Italia.

    Because of its Professional Continental status, the team must rely on wild card invitations to the UCI's World Calendar races, but director John Lelangue told Cyclingnews he is confident that the team will gain entry to the races.

    Former Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Alessandro Ballan and Classics specialists George Hincapie, Marcus Burghardt and Karsten Kroon are expected to be major players in the upcoming races: Milano-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège - Bastogne - Liège.

    Evans will be targeting the Giro d'Italia and the Tirreno-Adriatico as a warm-up for the Italian Grand Tour.

    "We are sure that we are in for Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro d'Italia," said Lelangue. "The other invitations will come in step by step. We expect the decision on Milano-Sanremo any time now.

    "We put in our applications for candidature to these races last fall, and the organisers know we will field a strong team."

    The team is also seeking entry for the Tour of Romandie, the Tour de France, the two new ProTour races set to take place in Canada as well as the Tour of Poland, Vattenfall Cyclassics in Germany and the Tour of Lombardy.

    Baldato debuts as director in Qatar

    The team's newest Assistant Sport Director is Italian Fabio Baldato, who joined the BMC team from the Lampre squad along with riders Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio. He will debut in the Tours of Qatar and Oman this month.

    While Baldato is something of a legend in the Classics, having come second in Milano-Sanremo in 2000, second in Flanders in both 1995 and 1996 and second in Paris-Roubaix in 1994, he will not be in the car for the Spring Classics...

  • Boonen ready to get the season started

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) took the overall lead after winning stage 2 last year.
    Article published:
    February 03, 2010, 22:33 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Quick Step team wants 5th straight Qatar win

    Belgian Tom Boonen is anxious to get the 2010 season underway, and will do so in just a few days when the Tour of Qatar begins in Doha on February 7. The Quick Step man has won the overall in Qatar three times, and his team has taken the win in the past four editions, making them the undisputed favourites.

    The eight riders set to take on the Tour of Qatar will depart from Paris and fly to Doha tomorrow along with director Wilfried Peeters.

    "We've won this race in the last 4 years, so it's really hard to do any better than we have," said Peeters. "The initial goal is to win at least one stage and to try to be major players every day. Furthermore this year we will participate in the Tour of Oman as well, immediately after Qatar. These two races will represent a good preparation as we look forward to the first weekend of races in Belgium at the end of February - Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne."

    Last year Boonen won just one stage in Qatar, but claimed the overall thanks to his consistent performances. In fact, Boonen is the most consistent rider in the history of the Tour of Qatar, having won a total of 15 stages in his career.

    "I can't wait to compete," said Boonen. "This type of race represents an important test to measure your level of preparation and the work undertaken throughout the winter. As always we're going to have to be very attentive to the unexpected changes in the direction of the wind. It will be important to always stay in the first positions of the group in order to avoid any surprises. Our team is competitive and motivated. We're ready."

    Quick Step for Tour of Qatar: Tom Boonen, Kevin De Weert, Kevin Huslmans, Andreas Stauff, Matteo Tosatto, Kevin Van Impe, Marco Velo, Maarten Wynants

    Quick Step for Tour of Oman: Tom Boonen, Kevin De Weert, Kevin Hulsmans, Andreas Stauff, Matteo Tosatto, Jurgen Van De Walle, Marco Velo, Maarten Wynants
    D.S.:...

  • Nature Valley to sponsor 2010 Bicycle Festival

    The men's peloton awaits the start of stage four at the 2009 Nature Valley Grand Prix.
    Article published:
    February 03, 2010, 22:57 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Nature Valley Grand Prix included as part of larger festival

    After sponsoring the Nature Valley Grand Prix stage race for 10 years, Nature Valley will expand its involvement to sponsor the overall Minnesota Bicycle Festival in 2010. The event, which still includes the Nature Valley Grand Prix, has been renamed the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival and will take place June 11-20, 2010.

    "Nature Valley's growing commitment to cycling stands in sharp contrast to many other sponsors in the sport who are reducing or eliminating their cycling programs," said Festival Executive Director David LaPorte. "Nature Valley is looking towards the future and recognizes that cycling is one of the most popular activities in the country. While we're thrilled that their commitment to our event is growing, we're even more pleased that they are supporting the sport as a whole, which is our mission as well."

    The Nature Valley Grand Prix opens June 16 with a morning time trial and evening criterium held in downtown Saint Paul adjacent to Rice Park. The Nature Valley Grand Prix continues with a road race in Cannon Falls on June 17. Stage 4 takes place in Minneapolis on Friday evening, June 18, in the city's Uptown neighborhood.

    On Saturday, June 19, the racers travel east to Menomonie, Wisconsin for the Menomonie Road Race, marking the first time that the Nature Valley Grand Prix includes a stage outside of Minnesota. Racers return to Minnesota for the concluding Stillwater Criterium on Sunday, June 20. The short circuit race is renowned for its 24-percent Chilikoot Hill, which is traversed 20 times.

    In addition to professional racing, other activities, including the Fan Zone, stunt riders, musical entertainment and bike and fitness expos will be offered at all stages of the five-day race with the exception of the time trial. The Tour de Kids fun races at each site are free and are open to children age 12 and under.

    Also included in the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic which...

  • Trofeo Costa Etrusca cancels opening day

    Emma Pooley (Cervelo TestTeam) during her solo break, which lasted over 50 kilometres.
    Article published:
    February 04, 2010, 10:46 GMT
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Funding the issue for Italian women's race

    It has been a sad state of affairs for women's cycling this month as the sport lost another race on the UCI calendar. Organisers of the 14th Trofeo Costa Etrusca have canceled the first day of a three-day event due to lack of funding, announced promoter Renzo Parietti.

    "For sure we live in a time where economically it's not easy to find resources to invest in the sport, all of which is damaging to the movement of international women's cycling; in contrary it should have bigger investment and support," Parietti told Italian website Tuttobiciweb.

    "But we have been penalised also from the other cycling events close to our dates, that are going to be happen in the Etrusca Coast, also in the month of March and they oriented the available resources in different ways from what we thought," he added.

    America's newest UCI team Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12 was schedule to support three of its riders at the three-day event with the US National Team of Mara Abbott, Katharine Carroll and Alisha Welsh. "I have to say it's very disheartening because it's a long way to send riders for a two-day race," said team manager Nicola Cranmer. "Everything for women in racing is a struggle, we fight for it all and to have anything taken away is really disappointing."

    The two Trofeo Costa Etrusca races are UCI sanctioned 1.2 and will take place on March 20 and 21 in Italy, organised by the ACD Costa Etrusca. The coastline also caters for the UCI 1.1 men's race - the 15th Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi - on February 6, organised by ASD Costa degli Etruschi and BTF events.

    "The two days of racing will be a high technical level and it will show a course at the same level for an international event like ours," Parietti continued. "We will insert, like always, spectacular parts with sections of climbing that will be challenging and where the riders with the best form will emerge."

    According to Parietti, the event has received participation...

  • LeMond not precluded from further comments on doping

    Greg LeMond speaks to reporters
    Article published:
    February 04, 2010, 11:22 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Trek deal does not prevent Tour winner from raising future questions

    In the wake of this week’s settlement between Greg LeMond and Trek, Cyclingnews has received verification that the triple Tour de France winner did not have to sign any agreement limiting his ability to talk about doping concerns in professional cycling.

    “Absolutely not,” said LeMond’s lawyer Jamie DiBoise, when asked if the settlement terms prevented him from speaking about Lance Armstrong or other riders. “I expect Greg will have comments once the French finish their investigation of Astana.”

    Depending on the outcome of that enquiry, the statement raises the possibility of further friction between the multiple Tour de France winners. The 2008 Astana team of Armstrong and eventual Tour winner Alberto Contador is currently under investigation after infusion kits and syringes were found in the team’s medical waste. No date has been set for the conclusion of that process.

    What was a once-harmonious business relationship between LeMond and Trek turned rocky after he questioned Armstrong’s association with controversial Italian doctor Michele Ferrari back in 2001. Armstrong was its top athlete and while the company has since said that LeMond was not precluded from commenting in general terms about doping in cycling, it claimed his comments about Armstrong were harmful to the Trek and LeMond brands.

    According to DiBoise, this week’s agreement followed intensive efforts by the two sides to work out a deal. Starting on January 22nd and using a private mediator, the legal teams spent eight days working on reaching a mutually acceptable conclusion.

    “A dialogue was established, taking into account the Judge's summary judgment order, the questions the judge asked at the SJ [summary judgement] hearing and each side’s realistic view at what was most likely to happen at trial,” he explained. “From that process a settlement was structured.”

    ...