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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 1, 2010

Date published:
July 01, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Tour de France to depart with no Colombians

    Leonardo Duque (Cofidis)
    Article published:
    June 30, 2010, 11:20 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    South America: no Tour riders from an entire continent

    For the first time in 27 years, there won't be any Colombian rider starting the Tour de France in Rotterdam on July 3rd. It leaves South America with no representative in the race.

    Oceania will have 12 (11 Australians and Julian Dean from New Zealand), North America 10 (8 Americans plus Ryder Hesjedal and Michael Barry for Canada), Africa and Asia one each (Robert Hunter and Yukiya Arashiro respectively).

    Juan Mauricio Soler and Leonardo Duque were the two last chances for Colombia to be represented at the Tour. However, the Caisse d'Epargne climber, who was the king of the mountain at his first attempt in 2007, injured his left knee in a crash in stage 2 of the Dauphiné. Cofidis sprinter Duque didn't make the final selection either, as his French team preferred Damien Monier, who won a stage at the Giro d'Italia and did a great job on Sunday for David Moncoutié at the French championship.

    "Is there someone prepared to pay 5 million euros to sponsor a Colombian team for this sad part of our cycling history not to be repeated in the future?" asked the Colombian daily newspaper El Tiempo on Monday. "I'm afraid there isn't anyone," answered Androni-Diquigiovanni team manager Gianni Savio. "I have tried all I could to put together a South American team with Colombia-Selle Italia and by registering my team in Venezuela. I've linked it with ministers and sponsors with no success."

    Androni-Diquigiovanni is now an Italian team with a South American flavour thanks to Colombia's José Serpa and Venezuelans Carlos Ochoa and Jackson Rodriguez but it's not a Tour de France team. "South Americans nowadays can only hope for a start in a team in Europe," Savio explained to Cyclingnews.

    "There are some good riders from Colombia, Venezuela but also Brazil and Argentina. But there's no big champion around right now. It's a real pity to see the Tour de France starting without any of them. When I first...

  • Homes of four pro riders among those searched in Italy

    The peloton en route to Brescia in the picturesque Lombardy region.
    Article published:
    June 30, 2010, 12:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Investigation centres around Brescia-based doctor

    La Gazzetta dello Sport has identified Brescia-based endocrinologist Filippo Manelli as the doctor at the centre of the doping raids carried out in Italy yesterday, and named some of the riders implicated in the investigation. The homes of professional riders Marco Velo (Quick Step), Riccardo Chiarini (De Rosa), Marco Corti (Footon Servetto) and Raffaele Ferrara (Carmiooro) were among those searched by Italian police yesterday, according to La Gazzetta.

    Raids were also carried out on the homes of five of the six Lucchini riders excluded from the recent GiroBio, an unnamed mountain bike rider, and female professional Francesca Faustini, as well as a footballer from Genoa’s youth system, the Italian daily continued.

    The raids were carried out in a number of locations across northern Italy yesterday in an operation involving 100 members of the Carabinieri and Guardie di Finanza. A number of illegal medications and substances held without the requisite therapeutic justification were discovered. It seems that many of the material originated in Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia.

    The present investigation has its genesis in an inquiry into Davide Rebellin’s positive test for CERA at the 2008 Olympics. When Rebellin’s home was searched under the orders of Padua prosecutor Benedetto Roberti, police discovered prescriptions provided from Filippo Manelli. The fact that the Veneto-based Rebellin was frequenting a doctor in Brescia triggered suspicions and a fuller investigation was launched. This is in turn led to both the raid of the Lucchini team at the GiroBio and yesterday’s house searches.

    Dr. Manelli is well-known in Italian cycling circles, and was vice-president of the organising committee of the Bresica stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia.

    Meanwhile, the Zalf Desirèe Fior team has announced that it has suspended its rider Francesco Sedaboni as a precautionary...

  • Weylandt frustrated at missed opportunity

    Stage winner Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step) on the podium.
    Article published:
    June 30, 2010, 13:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian sprinter denied Tour de France start

    Despite an opening in Quick Step's Tour de France squad following Tom Boonen's enforced absence through injury, Wouter Weylandt has been denied a ride in La Grande Boucle and isn't pleased about the situation.

    The rules of Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) stipulate that all riders eligible for participation in its flagship cycling event - some 1,915 riders - be a part of their team's pre-selection squad, nominated and sent to the organisation by April 1 to help facilitate out-of-competition drugs testing.

    Francesco Reda has been selected for Quick Step as the replacement for Boonen which has Weylandt, who won stage three of this year's Giro d'Italia, totally frustrated.

    "Completely ridiculous," is how Weylandt described the outcome to reporters. "As I rode the Giro, I had more anti-doping controls than others who will ride the Tour. This is frustrating, it has slowed down my career," he said.

    "It's too bad I wasn't in the 1,915 [nominated riders], but the Tour was simply not on my program," continued Weylandt. "But this was a fantastic opportunity. Mark Cavendish is not as dominant and the sprints are much more open. Furthermore, I had no Tom [to lead out] so this was my big chance to go," he said.

    Weylandt certainly wasn't hiding his displeasure, adding, "I heard that seven teams have included a rider who wasn't on the list to start. Maybe those teams [are] knocking on the table."

  • Cheula angered by Tour de France exclusion

    Giampaolo Cheula (Footon-Servetto) leads the breakaway
    Article published:
    June 30, 2010, 16:56 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Italian pulled from Footon Tour team at last minute

    Giampaolo Cheula has been dropped from the Footon Servetto team for the Tour de France. His place will be taken by Aitor Perez, while Cheula will now ride the Tour of Austria, beginning on Sunday.

    “Everything was fine. Today I should have been arriving in Rotterdam [for the start of the Tour de France] and then yesterday they told me that their plans had changed,” an angry Cheula told La Stampa.

    “They called me when I was training. It was my last spin before plunging into the atmosphere of the Tour. I was on the climb of the Devero, and in my disappointment I turned around and went home to my son. It would be a lie to say that I wasn’t upset,” he said.

    Cheula was keen to downplay the fact that he had been viewed by many as the leader of the very youthful Footon Servetto team. “Let’s say that the fact that I was the most experienced in the roster was a little over-emphasised. I would have been a reference point, but not the captain.”

    Cheula is also aware of his place in the hierarchy of a professional team, stating “I’ve been a professional for many years. I know the environment in depth. And I have the maturity to understand that a dependent employee – which I am, to all intents and purposes – must accept the choices of those who run the company. I’m sorry, I was very angry, but after an afternoon with my family, I have to get back in gear."

    He also emphasized that there will be no falling out with the team over his exclusion, saying “I repeat, I’m a dependent employee and I respect the company that pays my salary. Next year I might still be with Footon, so the relationship remains a good one."

    Cheula goes to the Tour of Austria and will then build up to the Vuelta a Espana, while Footon rides the Tour without him. “A young Spaniard has been sent in my place”, he said. “I hope he does well."

  • Garmin-Transitions go double Dutch with Maaskant and Kreder

    Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Transitions).
    Article published:
    June 30, 2010, 18:14 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Both extend through 2013 with American squad

    Michel Kreder and Martijn Maaskant have re-signed with Garmin-Transitions through to 2013. Both riders announced the news alongside team manager Jonathan Vaughters, in Rotterdam, Wednesday.

    Maaskant signed for the team in 2008 and placed highly in the spring Classics in his first two years with the team. Kreder signed from Rabobank's continental outfit at the start of 2010 and has had a promising first season in the professional ranks.

    "These two guys are going to be on the team for a long time," Vaughters said.

    "They're both riders that, little-by-little and slowly but surely, we'll try and build into riders that can win some of the biggest races in the world."

    "Martijn exploded onto the scene in his first year and on the right day and with the right luck he can win the big Classics," said Vaugthers.

    Maaskant was of course happy to secure his future and re-sign for the team. The Dutchman had a frustrating spring campaign this year and suffered numerous crashes. His best performance coming in Paris-Roubaix, where he was 22nd. Since then he has found his form, finishing second in a stage of the Tour de Suisse.

    "I'm happy with the new contract. It shows that the team has confidence in me as a rider. I've enjoyed the past three years and it's been good for me. I'm looking forward to the next couple of years."

    Kreder's first season has yet to yield a pro win but the 22-year-old has compiled over ten top-ten placings, including third in the GP Miguel Indurain.

    "I didn't know what to expect in my first year," Kreder said. "But I see myself being able to do well in the last Classics, like Lombardia and San Sebastian."

    Vaughters has set high targets for Kreder's development, and as well as having a crack at the Classics in the second part of the year, Vaughters believes that Amstel Gold is a race he can also win in the future.

    "For me, Michael is the only Dutch rider who can win Amstel...

  • Haussler's knee surgery a success

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    June 30, 2010, 20:04 BST
    Cycling News

    German to start rehabilitation, focus on recovery

    Heinrich Haussler, whose 2010 season has been plagued by knee problems, underwent a successful operation on his injured joint in Basel, Switzerland on Tuesday.

    "Heinrich feels well after the successful surgery yesterday," said Andreas Goesele, Cervélo TestTeam's chief medical officer. "It was a necessary operation, and Heinrich is now focused on full recovery."

    The 26-year-old Cervélo TestTeam rider first experienced complications with his knee due to a crash in the Volta a Algarve this spring. After taking time for recovery, the issue continued after crashes at Paris-Nice and most recently at the Tour de Suisse.

    "I am happy that I had this surgery," said Haussler. "I will now start my rehabilitation process and take my time to get fully recovered. I'm sure it will be hard for me to watch the Tour de France on TV now, as it was one of my main goals this season.

    "As I have already stressed, my health is the first priority and I would like to come back to cycling healthy and in good shape. When that comeback will be, I do not know yet, it depends on my recovery process. But now I wish my colleagues from Cervélo TestTeam all the best for the Tour de France 2010!"

    Haussler, a stage winner at the 2009 Tour de France, was replaced on Cervélo TestTeam's Tour roster by Daniel Lloyd.

  • Tour could be turning point for Cavendish

    Mark Cavendish (HTC - Columbia) on the start line.
    Article published:
    July 01, 2010, 11:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Poor fortunes of 2010 may be forgotten with green jersey

    After a well-publicised, less-than-ideal start to the 2010 season, Mark Cavendish is preparing to reverse his year's fortunes with another stellar performance at the Tour de France, which begins in Rotterdam this weekend.

    Crashes, criticism and general calamity (including some dental work gone horribly wrong) will be forgotten if Cavendish can take the green jersey of best sprinter by race's end in Paris on July 25. And in the style to which we've become accustomed, he's not afraid to throw out some solid predictions.

    "Last year I said it wouldn't be failure if it didn't come as I'd never finished the Tour; this year I know if I go in with the same plan, I should win it," he told "I should have won it [last year] but I got robbed because of a race motorbike - I'm not saying which - helping a rider get away. Without that happening, I'd have got seven stage wins."

    As for his season thus far, Cavendish says the opening half was never the focus; rather, the second half held the key indicators for judging his success in 2010. "I'd always said this year was all about the second half of the season and some people didn't listen... and that's what frustrates me the most: ignorance about what I said," he explained.

    That frustration boiled over with his finish line celebratory salute at stage two of the Tour de Romandie in April, in which he handed out the universally-recognised 'V' sign to critics, free of charge. It had him delving into his hip pocket for the privilege however, copping a fine in excess of $5,000 and being pulled from the event by HTC-Columbia management.

    "I got frustrated by the criticism, it is the hardest thing for me to handle," said Cavendish. "Normally I turn a blind eye to it."

    And just when it appeared he was back on track, a crash on stage four of the Tour de Suisse where he contributed heavily to the incident added injury to the list of issues for the firebrand sprinter, whose six...

  • D-Day approaching for Dean

    Tyler Farrar and Julian Dean have built a formidable partnership
    Article published:
    July 01, 2010, 11:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin leadout man prepares for Tour's hectic first week

    One of the most experienced leadout men in this year's Tour de France, Garmin-Transitions' Julian Dean is expecting a hectic opening week of the 2010 event.

    The laid back New Zealander has worked for the likes of Thor Hushovd in the past, although this year's Tour sees him take care of American sprinter Tyler Farrar, who has already delivered at Grand Tours this season, having won two stages of the Giro d'Italia.

    "Our objective is to work for Tyler in the first week. We want to hit the ground running so you have to be in top form from the start," said Dean. "If you can hang on to your form after that, then it's great. But for us it's really important to target those first few days," he explained.

    "It's a totally different approach to a GC rider, who is looking to find his best form in the last week and targets the Alps and the Pyrenees which are so important for them.

    "For us obviously the sprints in the first week are what it is all about for our part of the team. So we have to enter the Tour in our top condition and then try to hold on."

    The prologue aside, the first week of this yera's Tour will suit bigger, stronger riders in the mould of both Dean and Farrar, and while the overall contenders will be aiming to survive on the cobbles of stage three, Garmin-Transitions' duo will be looking to thrive.

    "First of all we will target stage wins for Tyler. We will start with the objective of winning the green jersey but so many factors come into that for the team and for Tyler to get to the finish," said Dean.

    To get to the finish and be in contention for the maillot vert, Farrar has to make it through a tough final week that presents very different challenges to the opening week - namely, the Pyrenees. Dean knows that despite finishing five Tours, it's never an easy task.

    "The last week is always hard because you start to question yourself. People say, 'You've done a few Tours now, so you must know...