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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 3, 2011

Date published:
November 03, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Video: New Tour of Flanders will be "really special," says Nuyens

    Tour of Flanders: Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard) was the toast of Flanders after his win.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2011, 20:23 GMT
    Pierre Carrey

    2011 winner underlines the key role of the Oude Kwaremont

    Tour of Flanders winner Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard) will wait and see before judging the new route of the race. De Ronde has finished in Meerbeke since 1973, but the finale will be altered in 2012. The race will no longer tackle the Muur van Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg and will instead finish in Oudenaarde.

    "It's a pity that the Muur, the Bosberg and also the finish changes,” Nuyens told Cyclingnews. "But we have to give it a chance."

    Nuyens was non-committal as to his opinion of the new course and he is not sure if it will be tougher or not. With the riders tackling the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg three times, however, the race will certainly have a different feel.

    "It will be a new experience for everybody, the spectators and the riders," he said. “Three times up the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg will be hard. The atmosphere around will be really special there as the spectators can stay there." Previously the Muur was the popular heart of the race, but was only climbed once.

    The Flemish classics take all of Nuyens' energy and decide for his schedule for the year. "I start the season really, really early, at the beginning of February, and now I will stay one month off my bike," he said in early October, at the Tour of Beijing, his last race in 2012.

    In the third week of November, he will begin training with some running, and then will gradually increase his preparation until the beginning of December - "the more serious" things, he says.

    2011 was the 31-year-old Nuyens’ first season at Bjarne Riis' team. As well as the Tour of Flanders, he won the semi-Classic

  • Overall leader Roulston withdraws from Tour of Southland

    Hayden Roulston (Calder Stewart) remains in the leader's yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 1:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    New Zealand road champion reportedly afflicted by kidney stones

    Hayden Roulston (Calder Stewart) has been forced to abandon the Powernet Tour of Southland today, with the New Zealander reportedly suffering from kidney stones.

    There were reports overnight that Roulston had been having some discomfort, however he was on the start line in Te Anau for stage 5.

    After just under an hour of racing the New Zealand road champion was unfortunately forced to abandon.

    Roulston had held the overall lead of the Powernet Tour of Southland for the better part of the race. He was part of the Calder Stewart team that won the opening team time trial, and was impressive in outshining specialist climbers, Josh Atkins and George Bennett on stage 2 to Bluff Hill.

    Atkins meanwhile becomes the race's new yellow jersey.

  • Boom to skip 'Cross Worlds again

    Lars Boom (Rabobank) leads Geraint Thomas (Sky).
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 9:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider has full attention on the road

    Lars Boom will once again skip the Cyclo-cross World championship this season, saying it does not fit in with his preparations for the road season. The Rabobank rider will still ride a few unspecified 'cross races.

    Boom, 26, won the 'cross Worlds title in 2008. That same year he won the Dutch national 'cross, road and time trial titles. The next year he decided to concentrate on the road and has not ridden the 'cross Worlds since 2009.

    In 2011, Boom won the prologues of the Criterium du Dauphine and the Tour of Qatar. He had the overall win in the Tour of Britain, along with two stage victories there.

    The UCI World Championship Cyclo-Cross 2012 will be held in Koksijde, Belgium, on January 28-29.

  • Ardila leaves Geox for Colombia

    Mauricio Ardila will be aiming for the last week of this Giro
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 10:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Geox rider hopes to return to Europe in 2013

    Mauricio Ardila is returning to Colombia for a “transition year” after the end of his Geox-TMC team. He hopes to return to a European team in 2013.

    Adila told ESPN Deportes that the situation in Europe “is very complicated, because the news came too late.  Most teams are full and the option of taking three riders is very complicated.” GEOX captain Denis Menchov had said that he wanted to take Ardila and Dmitry Kozontchuk to his new team.

    The 32-year-old said that he could have waited “a little” in Europe, but had instead decided “to ride in Colombia” next year. He plans to “make a transition year in Colombia and return again in 2013 with more time to find a big team.”

    He indicated that he expected no difficultly in finding a team in his homeland. “Coldeportes was yesterday officially accepted as a Professional Continental team – that is an option as well as a couple of Continental teams.”

    Ardila turned pro with Marlux in 2002, and rode for Chocolade Jacques and Davitamon-Lotto for one year each, before putting in five years with Rabobank. He joined Geox for the 2011 season.

  • Perez leaving Lampre after only one year

    Lampre ISD's Alessandro Spezialetti and Aitor Perez Arrieta.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 11:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    Personal sponsor is leaving Italian team

    Aitor Perez will leave Lampre-ISD at the end of this season. His personal sponsor Ampo is not continuing as a team sponsor, and he said that he and Ampo belong together.

    “I will not continue on the same team,” he told the Gara newspaper. “I went with Ampo, which will not continue and we are a package deal. So far I have been fortunate that I have found teams. If not, it is difficult and it is all up in the air.”

    The 32-year-old knows that it will not be easy to find a new team. “The market is difficult. I have a friend who has contacted all the small Continental teams.” He also acknowledged that “this has not been my best season."

    Perez turned pro in 2004 and has ridden for seven teams in his eight-year career.

  • Stannard delight at Team Sky contract extension

    Ian Stannard (Sky) on the podium following his first professional victory.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 11:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    British rider looking to progress in 2012

    After a highly promising two seasons with Team Sky, which saw him secure his first professional victory at the Tour of Austria earlier this year, Ian Stannard could not hide his delight at signing a contract extension for 2012 when Cyclingnews caught up with him in London earlier in the week at the launch of the new Gatorade G Series.

    The 24-year-old from Chelmsford is thrilled to be part of the team’s exciting roster for next term, when the team will be looking to continue the rapid progress that they have made since their inception in February 2009.

    “I really wanted to extend my deal with Team Sky as I have been very happy here,” he said. It’s a British team with a British feel and is the best place for a British rider to be. I’ve had a good year. There’s always plenty of support staff on hand to develop you and lots of riders would love to be in my position so it was a logical step to sign. Negotiations were easy and were concluded very quickly.”

    After a three-week rest period Stannard is already looking ahead to winter training and to getting off to a fast start in some early season events.

    “I’m just coming towards the end of three weeks off and I haven’t done any kind of sport at all during this period,” he said. “It’s important to refresh yourself mentally and physically. If you do that properly you soon start to get the bug again, and I’m starting to feel that now.

    "The team runs an open ended training camp and I’ve got a decent block there in December. I’ll then be returning in January before I start my racing season in Qatar. I’ve done the Vuelta and the Worlds this year...

  • 2012 Amgen Tour of California route announced

    Race winner Chris Horner (Radioshack) salutes the iconic California state bear.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 12:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Host cities confirmed for America's biggest road race

    AEG, presenter of the Amgen Tour of California, has today confirmed the 13 official host cities for the 2012 race, incorporating the two queen stages of the past two editions in one year, with finishes at Big Bear ski resort and Mt. Baldy.

    The seventh consecutive edition of the Amgen Tour of California will travel more than 750 miles between May 13–20, 2012, incorporating starts in major cities such as San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles with new host towns Sonora and Ontario.

    Gone is the Solvang time trial, which is replaced with a stage five test in Bakersfield. Solvang's local organising committee last month was reconsidering its bid due to financial issues.

    The race returns to San Francisco after a one year hiatus, retracing its steps to Santa Cruz, with likely passage of the Bonny Doon climb which propelled Levi Leipheimer to victory that year.

    Reversing its direction from previous years, it then heads inland to San Jose for a stage to Livermore, which could take in the Sierra Road and Mt. Hamilton climbs.

    The course then heads into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains for a start in Sonora, a new host city, heading south to Clovis. Riders then transfer 120 miles to Bakersfield for the time trial before heading into the Angeles National Forest for two mountainous stages. The race concludes with a circuit in downtown Los Angeles.

    “This race is special because it takes place in one of the most beautiful places in the world – California,” said Chris Horner, 2011 Amgen Tour of California Champion. “The host cities are always so welcoming and the crowds are always great, not to...

  • Sweden unhappy with one rider in Olympic races

    A Swedish racer
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 13:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    Holding out hope for more places in road team

    The Swedish national coach was very surprised to get only one starting place in the 2012 London Olympics road race, and is not willing to accept that as the final decision.

    Glenn Magnusson, a former pro rider, had expected that he could send two riders to the road race and possibly also to the time trial. However, under the list released last week by the International Cycling Union, he will have only one rider in each race.

    “We are such an established cycling country that we absolutely must have more than one rider in a road race in a major championship,” he told the Svenska Dagbladet. “The only thing we can do is to show our displeasure with the decision. We will raise the issue with the Swedish Olympic Committee and see how we can move forward.”

    Magnusson continued to hold out hope. “The definitive list of Olympic riders should not be nailed down until April so we still hope to get an extra place.”

    The one-man teams would be Sweden's smallest in years, he said. “We have had three, four, five riders as long as I remember. At least for 20 years. But to some extent it may be said that it is our own fault. We have not had enough success and not gained enough ranking points.”