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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 30, 2009

Date published:
July 30, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Tour of Elk Grove expects a full field

    David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit) takes the win
    Article published:
    July 29, 2009, 17:12 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Veilleux returns to Chicago to defend his title

    David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit Strategies) will return to Chicago to defend his title at the 2009 Tour of Elk Grove set to begin on Friday, July 30. The three-stage event offers the lucrative prize purse of $125,000 and has attracted elite teams from across the country.

    The Tour of Elk Grove will kick off with a circular seven-kilometre time trial on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, the race will continue with a 150-kilometre circuit race through the streets of Elk Grove Village. The racing will culminate on Sunday with a lengthy 110-kilometre criterium where the overall race winner is expected to emerge.

    Kelly Benefit Strategies will field a squad of recently successful riders to support Veilleux in his bid for a second consecutive victory. Fitchburg Longsjo Classic winner Zach Bell, Tour of Uruguay champion Scott Zwizanski and winner of the Tour of Thailand, Andrew Bajadali, will be on hand in Chicago.

    The Tour of Elk Grove is also a valuable event on the National Racing Calendar (NRC) series. Rory Sutherland (OUCH p/b Maxxis) tops the series’ individual ranking and will bring a team of strong contenders that includes Chris Baldwin, Andrew Pinfold and Karl Menzies.

    Sutherland's nearest rival, Tom Zirbel (Bissell), will ride along side teammates Ben Jacques-Maynes and Kirk O’Bee. Sebastian Haedo (Colavita-Sutter Home) is currently third on the individual standings and brings with him the highest ranked NRC team that will include Alejandro Borrajo and Kyle Wamsley.

    Other heavy hitters to race this year's Tour of Elk Grove will be: US National Criterium Champion, Rashaan Bahati, Ivan Dominguez and Freddy Rodriguez (Rock Racing), Tony Cruz (BMC), Ken Hanson and Mike Creed (Team Type 1), Roman Van Uden (LandRover-Orbea), Emile Abraham (Aerocat), Brad Huff and Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly), Adam Bergman (Texas Roadhouse), Kevin Lacombe (Planet Energy), Haden Godfrey (Subway Avanti), Thomas Soladay (Mountain Khakis)...

  • Where next for Alberto Contador?

    What jersey will Alberto Contador be wearing in 2010?
    Article published:
    July 29, 2009, 17:15 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Cyclingnews assesses Contador's options for 2010

    The second half of the Tour de France is a key marketplace for riders and teams looking ahead to next season, and none more so than two-time champion Alberto Contador. The Spaniard and his brother/manager Francisco are engaged in a complicated series of negotiations intended to guarantee that the yellow jersey can be retained in 2010. The question everyone wants answered - Contador more than anyone - is which team is most capable of providing him with the back-up required to enable him to deal with what is likely to be a much stiffer challenge next year.

    The one team that could ensure Contador will be in the right place to defend his title is also the one team we know he definitely won't be joining. Even before last week's announcement of the impending launch of the RadioShack team, relations were frosty between Contador and old pals Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel. Since the Tour, they've turned glacial.

    On Monday, Contador, normally the most uncontroversial of interviewees, declared he had no respect for Armstrong, who countered on his Twitter page that the Spaniard still had a lot to learn. This all makes for a gripping rivalry, but only if the Spaniard can pull together a group of riders able to compete with RadioShack's already impressive-looking roster, which is likely to include Astana's Yaroslav Popovych, Haimar Zubeldia, Andreas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Gregory Rast and Chris Horner.

    So what are Contador's options? Will the Spanish Tour champion remain with Astana, join compatriot Alejandro Valverde at Caisse d'Epargne, confirm the rumours surrounding a bid from American ProTour squad Garmin-Slipstream, perhaps sign on the dotted line with Spanish F1 champion Fernando Alonso's new team, or are other ProTour teams opening up their checkbooks for the Spaniard?

    Click here to read the full feature

  • Howes crowned USA Under 23 champion

    Article published:
    July 29, 2009, 19:00 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Team-work secures 21-year-old the title

    America’s new U23 Road Champion Alex Howes (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin) credited his win to a supportive team and talented teammates. Howes won the stars and stripes jersey ahead of a select group of four riders that played cat and mouse all the way to the end.

    Howes, 21, has competed for the Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin team since 2003, when he was 15 years-old. He attributes the young squad’s success to the riders having grown up racing together.

    “We have good support and great staff from mechanics and soigneurs to Chann McRae, who calls the shots from the car,” Howes said. “But more than anything else our wins come from racing together for a long time, even though we are young.

    “I’ve been racing with Peter [Stetina] and Dan [Summerhill] for five or six years now,” he added. “When you race with people for that long things click.”

    The squad fielded seven riders at the U23 national championships that includes defending champion, Kirk Carlsen, Howes, Peter Salon, Peter Stetina, Caleb Fairly, Taylor Sheldon and Dan Summerhill.

    Odds were on the tough-to-beat team to defend the US U23 National Road Championships, following an impressive performance at the last week’s Cascade Cycling Classic. There they took on the American-professional teams and captured three jerseys and several podium places.

    “We all knew coming into the race that we had a strong team,” Howes said. “We all agreed that any one of us could win and that we didn’t have a favorite on the team. We wanted to race our bikes and have one of us come out on top. It’s helpful being on a team like that to take the pressure away.”

    Howes won the final breakaway sprint ahead of runner up Scott Stewart (Team Waste Management) and third placed Ben King (Trek-Livestrong). Teammate Salon rounded rode in for fourth place.

    “I knew from racing...

  • Cycling News round-up for July 29, 2009

    World champion Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-NGC)
    Article published:
    July 29, 2009, 20:33 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Rosters for Poland, San Sebastian and contract extensions

    The UCI ProTour resumes with the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian in Spain this Saturday, and then continues with the Tour of Poland which runs from August 2-8. Teams are beginning to submit their final rosters for these races, a selection of which are below.

    Caisse d'Epargne for Tour of Poland

    Andrey Amador, Anthony Charteau, Vasil Kiriyenka, Pablo Lastras, David López, Alberto Losada, Ángel Madrazo, Dani Moreno.

    Lampre-NGC for Tour of Poland

    Marzio Bruseghin, Vitaliy Buts, Angelo Furlan, Francesco Gavazzi, David Loosli, Manuele Mori, Marcin Sapa and the World Champion Alessandro Ballan.

    AG2R La Mondiale for Tour of Poland

    Aurélien Clerc, Blel Kadri, Yuriy Krivtsov, Tanel Kangert, Alexandr Pliuschin, Nicolas Rousseau, Gatis Smukulis, Tadej Valjavec

    Katusha for Tour of Poland

    Laszlo Bodrogi, Pavel Brutt, Nikita Eskov, Denis Galimzyanov, Serguei Klimov, Guennadi Mikhsylov, Alexander Serov and Danilo Napolitano.

    AG2R La Mondiale for San Sebastian

    José Luis Arrieta, Alexander Efimkin, Stéphane Goubert, Julien Loubet, Rinaldo Nocentini, Christophe Riblon, Nicolas Roche, Jean Charles Senac

    Katusha for San Sebastian

    Alexandre Botcharov, Joan Horrach, Serguei Ivanov, Vladimir Karpets, Luca Mazzanti, Evgeni Petrov, Filippo Pozzato, Ivan Rovny.

    Delfosse extends with Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, Vandenbergh with Katusha

    Sébastien Delfosse has extended his contract with the Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team for two years. The 26-year-old from Herve Waal took 14th at the Tour of Luxembourg and 12th in the Belgian championship (12th).

    Stijn Vandenbergh also extended his contract with Katusha for the next two seasons, according to his management company.

    Cycling stars sign up to light up...

  • More teams, route details announced for Tour of Ireland

    Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) claims the first win by a Briton on the Champs-Élysées
    Article published:
    July 30, 2009, 11:06 BST
    Shane Stokes

    More top teams to Ireland, despite shorter race

    The three top teams in the ProTour ranking plus the sixth-placed outfit have been confirmed for the 2.1-ranked Tour of Ireland, which will take place from August 21 – 23 this year.

    Saxo Bank, currently second in the post-Tour de France ProTour rankings, and Cervélo TestTeam were announced on Wednesday as joining the previously-announced Astana and Columbia HTC teams in the race. The lineup of these four teams is yet to be finalised, but Mark Cavendish, Lance Armstrong, defending champion Marco Pinotti and Irish professional Philip Deignan (Cervélo Test Team) will all ride, according to the race organisers.

    “This year’s line-up is a very strong one, and features two out of the three biggest names currently in cycling,” said Event Organiser Alan Rushton at the race launch in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Powerscourt, Enniskerry. “Having Mark Cavendish back again is fantastic and he obviously enjoyed himself last year when he won three stages. Lance Armstrong is a legend in cycling and it will be great for fans to see him race on Irish roads.

    “Team Saxo Bank, Cérvelo, Columbia-HTC and Astana all had great results in this year’s Tour de France and we are sure that racing in Ireland will be very competitive,” he added.

    Both riders played a pivotal role in the Tour, with Cavendish winning an excellent six stages and bringing his career total to 10 such victories in the race. Armstrong returned to the Tour after a four year absence and finished third overall.

    Last year’s race winner Pinotti is also expected to return, and will join Cavendish in the Columbia squad. He secured a last gasp effort in 2008 when he broke clear on the final lap of the gruelling finishing circuit in Cork and opened up a winning advantage on race leader Russell Downing. Downing is also expected to return, competing in the colours of the Candi TV Marshall’s Pasta team.


  • Schleck brothers to stay at Saxo Bank

    Best young rider Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    July 30, 2009, 11:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Rumours quashed by manager and team

    Following recent rumours that Andy and Fränk Schleck would switch to the new team headed by Lance Armstrong and sponsored by American electronics retailer Radio Shack, the brothers' manager - Giovanni Lombardi - has made it clear that next season the brothers will ride for Saxo Bank.

    "There is no chance that Frank and Andy will move to Radio Shack," the former professional rider-turned-agent told French sports daily L'Equipe.

    Having guided Andy and Fränk to second and fifth overall respectively in the recent Tour de France, Saxo Bank management has also weighed in to deny the pair is going to ride for anyone else next year.

    "Both Andy and Frank have a contract until 2010 with us. They will be off contract and we even hope they will sign for us again," it said.

    Italian press reports alleged that Andy Schleck wasn't even aware of the apparent interest from Armstrong's team, however. "I'll serve my contract with Saxo until after 2010. And I will still ride the Vuelta to prepare for the world championships," he said.

  • Evans aims for Vuelta, Worlds

    Cadel Evans (Silence Lotto) nears the end of a frustrating Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 30, 2009, 12:03 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Worlds course on home roads

    Australia's Cadel Evans spoke of his autumn schedule on Sunday in Paris following a disappointing performance in the Tour de France. He hopes to take the world championship title September 27 in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

    "My next race is probably going to be the Vuelta [a España]. I will ride some of it in preparation for the Worlds. It is only six kilometres from my home and is a pretty hard course," said Evans.

    The Vuelta a España three-week race takes place August 29 to September 20. Evans finished fourth overall in 2007.

    The World Championships is one week after the Vuelta a España. Evans placed fifth in the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. This year's course will be more demanding than the last two years with two climbs, the Acqua Fresca and the Novazzano, included in a 13.8-kilometre circuit that will be repeated 19 times.

    Evans should end his season at Italy's Giro di Lombardia, which is also close to his European home in Switzerland. He placed fourth in 2004 and sixth in 2007.

    "I am going to go away [from the Tour], have a bit of a holiday and then plan for 2010," he said. Evans has been with the Belgium's Silence-Lotto team since 2005 and has one more year left in his contract.

    Prior to this year Evans had never finished the Tour outside of the top ten, the last two years he placed second and wore the leader's yellow jersey for five days. At this year's event he finished 30th, 45:24 down on winner Alberto Contador. Evans' teammate Jurgen Van den Broeck finished 15th.

    His first disappointment in this year's Tour came on day four in Montpellier, when his Silence-Lotto team lost 2:35 in the team time trial.

    "It did not help, but you do what you can in those days and make the most of it. I have always been one to adapt and fit in, to make opportunities for myself in the Tour. That was my first negative sign in the Tour."

    Evans lost more time...

  • Tour confirms Katusha's strength says Tchmil

    Sergei Ivanov (Katusha)
    Article published:
    July 30, 2009, 12:13 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Stage win and high placings good news after doping problems

    Team Katusha confirmed its strength at the Tour de France said the team's general manager Andrea Tchmil on Sunday in Paris. The Russian squad's stage win and two placings in the top three were good news after June's problems.

    Russian champion Sergei Ivanov won stage 14 to Besançon after being part of an escape group all day.

    "All wins are important, above all one in the Tour de France with its high-level of competition. It is also a confirmation the team's and Ivanov's quality," Tchmil told Cyclingnews.

    Russia's Katusha team was also present in several escapes through Mikhail Ignatiev. He was part of the first successful escape of the Tour in stage five to Perpignan, but finished second to winner Thomas Voeckler. He finished the Tour strongly with a third place behind Alberto Contador in the Annecy time trial, stage 18.

    Italian Champion Filippo Pozzato expected more from himself than the sixth place in stage six to Barcelona, his best result of the Tour. Tchmil said the team will adjust his schedule in 2010 to give Pozzato a greater chance of winning.

    "He still has to grow," said Tchmil. "He raced well in the beginning of the year in the Classics. He wanted to be at the top in the Giro and at the top in the Tour, but unfortunately he can't be at the front in every race and win on every occasion."

    Katusha welcomed the Tour's successes after problems with doping and contracts. The International Cycling Union (UCI) found both Christian Pfannberger and Antonio Colom positive for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) in the months prior to the Tour.

    The team also had internal struggles in June when some of its riders refused to sign a new agreement that would have them pay five times their salary if caught doping. Robbie McEwen first refused and later signed, but Belgian Gert Steegmans continues to refuse to sign the agreement.

    Katusha is yet to resolve the matter with Steegmans....