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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 25, 2009

Date published:
June 24, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Katusha names final nine for Tour

    Filippo Pozzato puts in a strong effort for his Team Katusha squad.
    Article published:
    June 24, 2009, 14:34 BST
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    Steegmans left home

    Team Katusha announced its nine riders who will compete in the Tour de France, July 4 to 26. Filippo Pozzato, overall contender Vladimir Karpets and sprinter Danilo Napolitano will lead the team.

    The Russian team placed Belgian Gert Steegmans on 'non-active' status yesterday for not signing a clause to his contract to pay five times his salary if caught doping. The team did not select him in its final roster though he has won stages in both the 2006 and 2007 Tour de France.

    The complete roster includes Italians Pozzato and Napolitano, Russians Karpets, Alexandre Botcharov, Serguei Ivanov, Mikhail Ignatiev, Nikolai Trusov, Spaniard Joan Horrach and Belgian Stijn Vandenbergh. Serge Parsani and Dimitri Konychev will be the team's directeur sportifs. (GB)

  • Garmin-Slipstream names its nine for the Tour

    Danny Pate drives the Garmin train with six kilometres to go.
    Article published:
    June 24, 2009, 16:40 BST
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    Martin, Pate, Hesjedal join experienced squad

    The Garmin-Slipstream team named its roster for the Tour de France, listing a team of battle-hardened Tour veterans and rising stars to compete in the race's 96th edition.

    Along with GC men David Millar and Christian Vande Velde, time trial aces Bradley Wiggins and David Zabriskie, the team will start with sprinters Tyler Farrar and Julian Dean.

    Rising star Dan Martin, who placed second behind Alejandro Valverde in the Volta Catalunya this year, will be a prime candidate for the best young rider classification, while Canadian Ryder Hesjedal and American Danny Pate round out the roster.

    “We are bringing a diverse and versatile squad to the 2009 Tour de France,” said team manager Jonathan Vaughters. “We had an incredible first Tour as a team last year and this year we hope for GC contention, possible stage wins and even the yellow jersey at some point.”

    Dutchman Martijn Maaskant is the first reserve.

  • Mark Cavendish: Boy Racer

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    Article published:
    June 24, 2009, 17:38 BST
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    Cyclingnews.com presents extracts from Boy Racer

    In his own typically outspoken style, Boy Racer chronicles Mark Cavendish’s own observations of his rise to the top of the cycling tree. In these extracts from the book, exclusive to Cyclingnews, Cavendish talks being a square peg in a round hole, drug testing, the Olympic Madison and why big-money offers won’t make him change teams.

    On having a talent laboratory computers and sports scientists can’t fathom

    "My problem is maybe that I just don’t look like a cyclist. Pro bike riders come in a range of well-chiselled sizes but my short, stubby legs and long body are at least unusual and maybe unique in the pro peloton. More to the point, I don’t look like a bike rider in front of what some coaches regard as the one mirror that never lies - the one which is kept in the gym or the physiology lab, with two pedals, a saddle, wheels that move without travelling and a digital display programmed - it seems to me - to communicate to the world exactly how mother nature was on an off day when she made me.

    All cyclists hate stationary bikes or ‘rigs’, mainly because they’re synonymous with leg-butchering, lung-perforating fitness tests, but no one hates them more than I do. At the [British Cycling Federation’s] Academy I’d almost literally kick and scream even before I was put through one of these ordeals, to the point where eventually the coaches decided it was too much melodrama to bear and agreed to let me opt out. All the feedback I’ve got from these tests could be condensed into a single message - the same one you often hear directed at opposing fans at football matches: 'You're shit and you know you are...'"

    Continue to full feature

  • ASO waffled over Boonen

    Patrick Lefevere (left) wants confirmation from Tour de France organisers on Boonen
    Article published:
    June 24, 2009, 17:46 BST
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    French sports minister who wanted Boonen out is replaced

    The Tour de France organiser ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) was prepared to allow Belgian sprinter Tom Boonen into the race before changing its mind after a recommendation from the French Secretary of State for Sport Bernard Laporte, Boonen's lawyers argued on Wednesday.

    The Quick Step team is fighting an action taken by the ASO to bar Boonen from taking part in the Tour, which begins July 4. The ASO announced last week that Boonen would not be welcome at the race because he tested positive out of competition for cocaine in April.

    The UCI declined to take disciplinary action against the rider because the substance is not banned out of competition.

    Quick Step's attorney Jean-Louis Dupont brought to light a memo sent from UCI director General Jean-Pierre Strebel to Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere which stated that the race organiser was prepared go along with the UCI's decision and to allow Boonen to start the race.

    According to the Belga press agency, the letter continued to explain that the ASO changed its mind after Laporte expressed his opinion that, in the spirit of the fight against doping, Boonen was not welcome at the race.

    Dupont will use the letter as evidence in Thursday's hearing in front of the French Superior Court in Nanterre to support his claim that Boonen should be allowed to race.

    "This reversal of ASO is a particularly deplorable violation of the contract between ASO and the Quick Step team," Dupont stated.

    Laporte was replaced on Tuesday by Rama Yade as Secretary of State for Sports in the French government.

  • Nibali confident prior to Tour

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) won the Giro dell'Appennino.
    Article published:
    June 24, 2009, 18:05 BST
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    Season's first victory boosts morale approaching national championships

    Vincenzo Nibali, the promising young Italian of team Liquigas, won his first race of the season on Thursday at the Giro dell'Appennino, a sign that the 24-year-old's form is on track for the Tour de France. Nibali arrived alone at the finish in Pontedecimo, Italy with an advantage of 1:20 over Leonardo Bertagnolli (Diquigiovanni) and Marco Marzano (Lampre-NGC).

    "During this season I a tried a similar action many times," said Nibali. "But, until now, it never concluded with a victory. Today, thanks also to the superb work of the team that supported me from the beginning, I won. I entered this event after a training period in the mountains in preparation for the Tour de France and I knew that my condition was growing. Today's victory is comforting, I'm very confident for the future."

    Nibali's final race prior to the Tour de France, the Italian road championships, takes place this weekend and the Liquigas rider remains optimistic about his chances.
    "To avoid any bad luck I don't want to make any predictions, but my form for Imola is great. The route is interesting and hard, which I like. But to win I also need a bit of luck because there will be many contenders. I only hope that, after a first part of the season with good results but no victories, that fate could smile upon me."

  • Garmin signs young Dutch talent Kreder

    Michel Kreder (Rabobank Continental) during the stage 6 time trial at the 2009 Tour de Bretagne Cycliste.
    Article published:
    June 24, 2009, 23:02 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Joins brother on the American team

    Michel Kreder will ride for Garmin-Slipstream for the next two years, he announced Wednesday. The 21-year-old currently is with the Rabobank Continental Team.

    This year the young Dutchman has won stages in the Circuito Montanes and the Circuit de Lorraine, and he has a number of top 10 finishes. Kreder is a climber who can also sprint and he aims to do well not only in one-day races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Amstel Gold, but also in stage races with steep climbs.

    Kreder cited the presence of compatriot Martijn Maaskant as one of his reasons for signing with the USA-based ProTour team. Maaskant also rode for the Rabobank Continental Team before signing with Garmin in 2008.

    In addition, Kreder's 19-year-old younger brother, Raymond, rides for the Garmin U23 team.

    Kreder's remaining goals this season are the U23 national championships this coming weekend, the Tour de l'Avenir and the U23 world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland.