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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 28, 2010

Date published:
October 28, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Ivan Dominguez retires from pro bike racing

    Ivan Dominguez (Jamis-Sutter Home) close up
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 20:35 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    10-year professional career comes to a close

    Ivan Dominguez (Jamis-Sutter Home p/b Colavita) has retired from professional bike racing after showcasing a winning sprint for more than decade amongst top-level races in the US. The Cuban native cited a loss of motivation as his reason for ending his career but assures that he will remain closely tied to the cycling industry.

    "I lost my motivation for racing and that is why I decided to stop," Dominguez told Cyclingnews. "I'm retired and I won't be doing any races, unless it is something small. I don't think I will be doing any big stuff. I am also tired of traveling and staying away from home for lots of weeks. I have not signed with a team for next year. I was talking with a couple of teams about the possibility of racing a little and directing a little but I will not be doing anything like that.

    "I feel good and retiring is fine with me," he said. "I knew that someday it would come. There are a lot of guys who are racing a lot better than me so my moving out of the way gives those guys a chance to come up. I'm looking forward to retirement."

    Dominguez acknowledged that it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a decent salary, or any salary at all, given the tough economic environment over the past several years. Becoming a professional cyclist is not as easy as it once was and the annual contract-team negotiations offer slim-pickings, unless a rider is consistently winning races as Dominguez once was.

    "The way I see it in the US is that if you're a good rider you can't get a contract because they think that you are too expensive, when you are a bad rider you can't get a contract because you are not winning races and when you are in the middle you can't get a contract because there are too many riders in the middle. I got tired of this contract stuff."

    Dominguez was born in Havana and defected from Cuba to the United States in 1998 after competing in the Goodwill Games under the Cuban National Team. He...

  • USA Cycling expands 2011 national calendar

    The Tour of the Battenkill peloton tackles one of the course's many climbs just past Cabot Dairy
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 22:02 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Top UCI events move off NRC

    USA Cycling announced its 2011 National Racing Calendar (NRC) today, rolling out some changes to the nation's hotly contested race series. With 28 events for men and 20 for women, the circuit is two races longer than 2010, although a number of races have moved onto and off the calendar.

    The 2011 series will only include national events and UCI-ranked 1.2 or 2.2 races, putting the 1.1-ranked women's Liberty Classic and 2.1-ranked Tour of Utah out of the classification.

    Additionally, USA Cycling has revamped the classification system for races, rating events from x.4 to x.HC, and will require domestic elite teams to submit rosters to USA Cycling in order to be ranked in the NRC team standings.

    The calendar kicks off on March 30, 2011 with the start of the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California, and concludes on October 2 with the newly added CapCrit in Washington, DC.

    New to the series are two events in the Southeast, the USA Crits Speedweek series which takes place in South Carolina and Georgia from April 30 to May 8 and the Labor Day Omnium, formerly a one-day race ranked for women only.

    While the Chicago Criterium will not return, Illinois gained the Glencoe Grand Prix on June 25.and the Evanston Grand Prix on August 21. The Tour de Toona will make its comeback as a stage race, running July 5-10, taking over for the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic which was reduced from a stage race to a one-day criterium on July 3 for 2011.

    Other existing races joining the NRC include the Tour de Nez, a five-day race in Reno, Nevada starting on July 27, the Tour of Battenkill on April 16 and the Univest Grand Prix on September 17.

    Races exiting the NRC list include the Kelly Cup, Marion Classic and Chicago Criterium.

    For more information on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar including the complete points distribution table, visit www.usacycling.org/nrc.

    2011 USA Cycling National Racing...

  • Volcanic eruption sees Indonesia skip a stage

    Merapi volcano spews smoke, taken from Umbul Harjo village in Sleman, Yogyakarta on early October 26, 2010. Indonesia ordered thousands of people to evacuate from around Mount Merapi on October 25 as it raised the alert for its most active volcano to red, warning of a possible imminent eruption.
    Article published:
    October 28, 2010, 1:14 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Mother Nature's impact on cycling races continues

    A volcanic eruption has led the Tour d’Indonesia’s chief commissionaire to cancel the race’s fifth stage today. The peloton had expected to tackle the 168.8 kilometre stage from Semarang to Yogakarta, but volcanic activity in the area meant conditions were unsafe.

    The day’s stage included two categorised climbs plus one hors category climb in Selo, Boyolali. The race is unable to use the northern slopes of Mount Merapi for the hors category climb however due to three volcanic eruptions yesterday.

    Chief commissionaire Jose Adolfo Cruz decided to cancel the day’s stage after consultation with residence in the area. At least 25 people were killed as a result of Mount Merapi blowing its top yesterday, while rescue workers are continuing to search the area for survivors.

    While understanding of the situation local cyclist Nugroho Krisnanto was disappointed with the cancellation, telling kompas.com: “I am really disappointed this stage has been cancelled. The team and I have been training for a long time. But it's OK because the conditions won’t allow us to race.”


    A car covered in volcanic ash sits amongst surrounding damage after Mount Merapi volcano erupted the night before in the village of Pakem in Sleman, Yogyakarta province.

    The Tour d’Indonesia will continue on Saturday, with Friday a planned rest day in the 10 stage race. The peloton will contest a 179.4 kilometre stage from Jogjakarta to Madison.

    The volcanic activity isn’t the first act of Mother Nature to impact a cycling event this year. Last weekend’s Taiwan Cup was cancelled due to a typhoon while an earthquake in Christchurch last month forced the cancellation of a domestic race. Also last month the Tour of Hainan was struck by flash flooding,...

  • Guldhammer steps away from professional cycling

    Rasmus Guldhammer (Team HTC - Columbia) and Martin Pedersen (Footon-Servetto) share a joke before the start.
    Article published:
    October 28, 2010, 1:36 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    HTC-Columbia's young Dane reconsiders his career

    Dane Rasmus Guldhammer, one of HTC-Columbia's promising young talents, has decided to cancel his contract with the team and step away from professional cycling.

    The 21-year-old told DR Sporten that he missed his friends and family during his first year with the ProTour squad, and had suffered from a lack of motivation since May.

    HTC director and fellow Dane Brian Holm said that perhaps Guldhammer turned professional too soon. "I don't think he was ready for the professional life yet. If he can ride at a slightly lower level next year, I am confident that he can return to professional cycling. There is no doubt that he has the talent," Holm said.

    Guldhammer, a notable climber, began his professional career with the Danish Continental Team Designa Køkken in 2008 and moved to Team Capinordic last year where he scored stage victories in the Grand Prix du Portugal and the U23 Liège - Bastogne - Liège. He took fourth overall in the Tour of Denmark, attracting the attention of HTC-Columbia.

  • Hushovd wants to help Farrar take Tour de France green jersey

    Don't mess with the best. Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) is ready to get down to business.
    Article published:
    October 28, 2010, 8:46 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    World champion will concentrate on Classics

    Thor Hushovd beat Mark Cavendish for the green jersey at the 2009 Tour de France, and now says he is looking forward to helping new teammate Tyler Farrar take the jersey in the future.

    The newly-crowned world champion, who won the green jersey in 2005 and 2009, said that he will not look to win it again. He plans to ride the Tour in 2011, but will concentrate on stages, the Classics and other one-day races.

    “Tyler Farrar is a good sprinter who has had great success over the last couple of years,” Hushovd told TV2sporten.dk. “He has beaten Cavendish two or three times, most recently in Spain. And even I have not beaten Cavendish on a flat course. Now I realized that it is better to help him beat Cavendish, to get the win for our team. It is a goal for myself too. I think he is the man to go for the green jersey."

    Each year, the Norwegian had considered not riding the Tour so that he could focus on the fall Classics and world championship, but not in 2011. “Fortunately I managed this year to have a good Tour de France and then win the world championship. But there's nothing I want more than to be standing on the starting line next year in the Tour de France in the world champion jersey. That will be huge.”

    In May of this year, the 32-year-old broke his collarbone in a training crash, and he now credits this accident with changing his focus to the one-day races. “I sprinted very little. It made me a better one-day rider with a better driving force. I had built up the capacity and I like that kind of cycling, riding in a slightly different way. I'm going to try and get more into it, to get a better driving force for the Classics and some of the tough finishes in, for example, the Tour de France.”

     

  • Basso looks to win Tour de France in 2011

    Ivan Basso solos to the win in Italy
    Article published:
    October 28, 2010, 9:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Aiming for top podium step after finishing third and second

    Ivan Basso is aiming to win the Tour de France in 2011, even though he knows it won't be an easy task. “My intention is to win the Tour, but that is sought by many riders and so it is hard to achieve.”

    Having won the Giro d'Italia twice, most recently in this year, he is now turning his concentration to France. "I still need to win the Tour de France after being second and third, and I have two years to get it,” the 32-year-old told the Spanish newspaper La Nueva Espana. Basso was second in the Tour in 2005 and third in 2004. He did not ride the Tour again until this year, when he finished 32nd.

    Basso believes the course will suit for in 2011, saying it, "has great mountain stages and few time trial miles. It will be as hard as ever and I can't talk about one or two rivals because everyone is there at their best.”

    Basso served a two-year suspension for his involvement in Operacion Puerto, which he called “bad history and you can not always think the worst. In life you have to look forward to doing your best. I showed that I could win the Giro with maximum transparency to the public and fans. "

    He sympathized with another rider facing doping charges, Alberto Contador. “Alberto is my friend and I hope the issue is resolved quickly and in a good way for him.”

    Basso rode the recent Vuelta a Chihuahua Criterium in Mexico, and will next take on the Criterium de Oviedo in Spain. After then, he “will take 20 days of vacation and then start slowly cycling and working out in the gym to achieve fitness.”
     

  • Matti Breschel: It’s time for me to be a leader

    Matti Breschel smiles on the podium, the season is almost over
    Article published:
    October 28, 2010, 9:41 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Dane to lead Rabobank in the Classics in 2011

    Matti Breschel will look to start his Rabobank career at the Tour of Qatar next season as he builds up to his role as Classics leader for the first time in his career.

    The Dane signed a two-year deal with the Dutch team after leaving Saxo Bank, where he rode under the wing of Fabian Cancellara. Breschel will now spearhead a young generation of Rabobank riders, including Lars Boom and Sebastien Langeveld.

    “The emphasis is more or less on the Classics and I’ll do roughly the same programme as I’ve done in previous years,” Breschel told Cyclingnews.

    “It’s the right time for me to be a leader. I’ve felt ready to try something new and Rabobank have given me that opportunity to be one of their main guys for the Classics.”

    Breschel has spent his entire career with Bjarne Riis’s team but met up with his new teammates after the Tour of Lombardia. It was a brief introduction, with the management laying on a party in order to break the ice between the new and old riders. It also gave Breschel a chance to discuss his racing programme for next year.

    “I don’t know too much yet. I met up with the team a week ago and we didn’t really talk about my programme too much. I know I’m not doing the Tour Down Under though,” he said.

    Rabobank are no strangers to Danish Classics talent. For many years Rolf Sorensen led the line and won the Tour of Flanders in 1997, while also finishing second in the World Cup. Sorensen has long since retired but his advice helped Breschel decide on riding for Rabobank.

    “I just felt ready to try something new and now I’ve got the chance. Rolf was important in all of this. He gave me good advice. He always spoke positively about Rabobank and was one of the reasons why I came. When I got into cycling he was at Rabobank and he was one of reasons I wanted to be a pro.

  • McQuaid defends UCI Passport in light of Pellizotti case

    UCI president Pat McQuaid denied Armstrong's donation was a bribe
    Article published:
    October 28, 2010, 12:09 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Case is far from over, McQuaid says

    In light of the Franco Pellizotti case, Pat McQuaid has defended the UCI’s biological passport programme, claiming that the case is far from over.

    McQuaid was reacting to last week’s news that CONI had cleared Pellizotti (Liquigas) to race. The UCI had asked the Italian federation to open a doping case against the rider after they found his passport to show doping had taken place. However the Italian was cleared to race after CONI claimed that there was insufficient evidence. The UCI may now open an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). CONI have thirty days, from their ruling, to hand over their documents to the UCI.

    “The case doesn’t mean a huge amount for the passport. First of all you have to understand that it’s just the first stage of proceedings for Pellizotti and it’s far from over. We’ll wait to see the documentation and then we’ll make a decision in conjunction with WADA on whether we go to the CAS or not,” McQuaid told Cyclingnews.

    “We were always aware that with the passport and indirect detection, that sooner or later we were going to be confronted with this type of situation but that doesn’t stop us from going forward or diminishing my conviction or the UCI’s conviction.”

    Asked if he thought Pellizotti had doped, McQuaid said: “We would not have gone forward with the process if we didn’t think so. You’ve got to understand the decision to go forward was based on the recommendation of the panel of nine experts. They did not know the profile of the rider they were evaluating.”

    “The judge said there was insufficient probability but that doesn’t to me seem to question the fundamentals of the passport. But it may be that we need to review how we progress with cases.”

    The Pellizotti case is not the only one of its kind to cause the UCI headaches. Pietro Caucchioli...