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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 15, 2011

Date published:
September 15, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Greipel ready for World Championships

    Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) won stage 1 at the Eneco Tour.
    Article published:
    September 14, 2011, 11:54 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sprinter confident of Germany's chances

    Andre Greipel is “on the right track” to arrive in Copenhagen with “really good form” for the world road race championship. The captain of the German team said in a message on his personal website  that he and his teammates are motivated to win the road race.

    A Worlds race “has its own laws,” he noted.  “You need a well-coordinated team with a lot of experience, to prepared the finale perfectly. I accept the challenge of being captain and will give everything to fulfil the trust that is being shown in me.”

    Greipel recently finished second in the GP Rik van Steenbergen, before finishing in the pack in both Paris-Brussels and the GP de Fourmies.

    The 29-year-old joined Omega Pharma-Lotto this year after leaving HTC-Columbia.  He has won eight races this season, less than in previous years, but one of those was his first Tour de France stage win. It has not yet been announced where he will ride in the coming season, but it is rumoured he will ride for the Lotto-Ridley team after the Belgian lottery split from Omega Pharma with the intention of creating it's own ProTeam for 2012.

    Greipel also thinks his fellow German Tony Martin has a great chance of winning the world time trial title. Martin (HTC-Highroad) recently “impressively proved his abilities at the Vuelta, where he left everyone behind him in the race against the clock,” Griepel pointed out.

  • Video: Boom and Hampton out to defend Tour of Britain jerseys

    Lars Boom pulls on the leader’s yellow jersey
    Article published:
    September 14, 2011, 12:58 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider says Cavendish is in good shape for the world championships

    Lars Boom (Rabobank) has made it clear he intends to try and keep the overall leader’s jersey at the Tour of Britain after winning stage three in Stoke-on-Trent on Wednesday.

    The powerful Dutchman revealed he was actually leading out teammate Michael Matthews in the sprint but the twisting finish and his high speed made it impossible for anyone to get past him.

    “It’s nice to win. I think I hadn’t won since the Dauphine. It’s nice in preparation for the worlds,” Boom said in this video of the winner’s press conference. “It’s nice to have the lead too. I’m feeling good, so I’ll try and defend the jersey.”

    Boom leads Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) by just three seconds. He thinks the Briton is on form for the approaching world championships.

    “I think he’s in good shape. He looks skinny,” Boom said.

    Young British rider Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport – Specialized) is leading the climber’s competition and revealed he and his teammates have studied the next three stages of the Tour of Britain route.

    “We’re going to take it day by day but try and keep it,” he said. “Keeping it all the way to our base in London, it’d be great.”

    “We’ve looked at the next three stages in training camp a few weeks ago, so we know what’s coming up. We’ll be aggressive and sees what comes of it.”
     

  • Cyril Dessel retires after 11 years in the peloton

    Dessel scores a win in the fourth stage.
    Article published:
    September 14, 2011, 13:55 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Frenchman wore yellow jersey in 2006 Tour de France

    Cyril Dessel has announced he retiring at the end of the season. The Frenchman has ridden professionally since 2000 and wore the yellow jersey for a stage during the 2006 Tour de France.

    Dessel, 36, made his announcement on the website of the French cycling federation.  “I've made my decision, I am stopping,” he said. “The life of a high-level athlete, life as being a professional stops at this point for me. I will now take a break and think about the future.”

    The highly respected Frenchman turned pro with Jean Delatour and then rode with Phonak in 2003 and 2004 before joining Ag2r. In 2006 he finished sixth overall in the Tour de France, wearing both the leader's jersey and mountain jersey for one stage. That same year he won both the Tour de Mediterraneen and the Tour de l'Ain. In 2008  he won stages at the Four Days of Dunkirk, Volta a Catalunya and the Criterium du Dauphine Libere.

    Dessel is not the only veteran rider deciding to call it a day and hang up his wheels.  Andrea Noe of Farnese Vini retired after this year's Giro d'Italia at the age of 42, Inigo Cuesta, who also turned 42 this year, retired from racing after his Caja Rural team did not receive an invitation to the Vuelta a Espana. Carlos Sastre, 36, has said he will announce his future plans on Thursday.

    However other riders in that age range will continue to race in 2012. Jens Voigt, who turns 40 on Saturday, has already signed a contract to ride for RadioShack-Nissan-Trek next year, where he will meet up with Chris Horner, who turns 40 in October. Robbie McEwen, 39, will ride the first part of the 2012 season with GreenEdge before serving as a technical advisor.

  • Jeannie Longo opts to miss World Championships

    Jeannie Longo with another gold medal in her national championships
    Article published:
    September 14, 2011, 17:27 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    French veteran affected by accusations her husband bought EPO from China

    Jeannie Longo has announced she will not take part in the UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen next week after becoming embroiled in two investigations: one caused by her missing three out of competition anti-doping tests and the other concerning accusations that her husband and coach Patrice bought EPO from China via the Internet.

    Longo’s lawyers Bruno Ravaz and Pierre Alberto said in a statement issued to news agencies that she “has been very affected by the unjust accusations.”

    The press release said that the 52-year-old multiple world and national champion was “not in the right physical or mental state to defend her chances or hold her own at the highest level of international competition.”

    Longo thanked the many people who have warmly supported her but will now not compete in the women’s time trial on Tuesday or road race on Saturday.

    She faces an investigation and possible disciplinary action by the French cycling federation once it receives formal notification from the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) that she failed to provide her testing whereabouts to the competent authorities on three different occasions. She claims the missed tests occurred because of her little understanding or use of computers and the Internet.

    Her long-time husband and coach was provisionally suspended by the FFC on Wednesday after the L’Equipe newspaper claimed that he bought EPO in China via US elite-level cyclist Joe Papp. A detailed report published emails sent by Patrice Ciprelli to Papp that revealed how the drugs were sent to a separate address in France and payment was made by the internet. Ciprelli has denied the accusations via his...

  • CompetitiveCyclist.com takes over as title sponsor of RealCyclist.com Pro Team

    Paco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com) leads a group.
    Article published:
    September 14, 2011, 21:09 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    UCI Continental team will focus on North American stage races in 2012

    Backcountry.com's newest online website CompetitiveCyclist.com will take over as the new title sponsor of the US-based RealCyclist.com Pro Cycling team beginning in the 2012 season. The second-year UCI Continental outfit's roster will remain largely unchanged and the team will again focus on top-level stage races across North America.

    "Our goal is to do what's best for our business, the team, our customers, and cycling in general," said Dustin Robertson, BackCountry.com's chief marketing officer. "CompetitiveCyclist has been the number one online retailer of high-end bikes for 10 years. They're a bigger name and a bigger brand than RealCyclist. Putting that name on the pro team will increase support for the team while raising awareness of CompetitiveCyclist. And the more successfully we engage fans and customers, the better it is for the industry and the sport as a whole."

    Robertson noted that the new sponsorship might not necessarily add financial gain to the newly named CompetitiveCyclist.com Pro Cycling team. Much like RealCyclist.com, however, CompetitiveCyclist brings a decade worth of strong industry partnerships to the table.

    "We have a good feeling about it," Robertson said. "One reason the RealCyclist.com Pro Cycling Team could make a bigger-than-first year impact in 2011 was because, as a retailer, we could leverage our existing relationships with our industry vendors to build up a strong show of sponsor support for the team."

    The same people who started the program will continue to carry the momentum into the team's second season including Brendan Quirk, former chief executive officer of CompetitiveCyclist, who is now the general manager of BackCountry.com's bike division, and will be more involved in the team. In addition, On the Rivet Management will continue to own and manage the team and Gord Fraser will return as directeur sportif for 2012.

    "There'll be no huge overhaul on the back-end," Robertson said. "A...

  • Watch this space: Phil Grenfell, the NRS's next Von Hoff?

    The ‘Taree Terrier’, Philip Grenfell (Bikebug.com), is an improving rider and took out his second stage win in the series in Merbein. Grenfell won a stage of the Tour of Gippsland in August.
    Article published:
    September 15, 2011, 4:08 BST
    By:
    Alex Hinds

    Former rower enjoying impressive rise on domestic circuit

    For those who have followed Phillip Grenfell’s short, but so far successful career, his recent stage wins at the Tour of Gippsland and Tour of the Murray River were a long time coming. Described by NRS leader, Nathan Haas as having a ‘severe case of white line fever’, the Australian is another welcome revelation to come out of the domestic series production line.

    Grenfell comes from a background in competitive rowing; a path that a growing number of professionals are finding seems to work well as an introduction to cycling. A very similar set of core muscle groups are utilised in both sports, and after a back injury forced Grenfell to ‘hang up the oars’, making a go of cycling seemed a natural next step.

    "I knew I could do ‘something’ in cycling, but this year has definitely reshaped my aspirations," Grenfell told Cyclingnews.

    The 22-year-old attributes much of his success to former pro Trent Wilson, the current team manager of BikeBug.com, who offered him a ride in the team when he was still a very unknown quantity.

    "I sent [Trent] an email last year; sort of saying ‘I’m looking for a team next year’ and he took a big chance on me," Grenfell said. "At the time I didn’t have any results or anything. He took a punt, he saw something, thought I was quick and put me on a program to build on that."

    For his part Wilson explained that the decision to sign Grenfell up with the team came down to the fact that though he had talent, at the end of the day he was a ‘good bloke’.

    "I’d had some problems in the past, with some guys not fitting in with the team. I spoke to a mate of mine and he gave him a massive wrap, gave him a ring, and thought he’d fit in well at the team," Wilson...

  • Alex Rasmussen fired for missing doping controls

    Denmark's Alex Rasmussen looks pretty pleased with the evening's progress
    Article published:
    September 15, 2011, 7:54 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dane removed from Worlds team, risks suspension

    HTC-Highroad has terminated Alex Rasmussen's contract after the team was informed that the Danish rider had missed an out of competition anti-doping test, thus violating the team's code of conduct. His racing licence has been suspended by the Danish Cycling Union, which said that he will be placed under investigation. He has been removed from the world championships team.

    The team said that it was notified by the International Cycling Union, the Danish national Olympic committee and the Sports Confederation of Denmark of a confirmed missed test.  “The team was also notified that Rasmussen had missed two tests in 2010 prior to joining HTC-Highroad that had not been previously reported the fact to the team."

    "Mr. Rasmussen missed a test and additionally did not inform the team. These are clear violations of the team's code of conduct. We act on these violations immediately," said Team Manager Rolf Aldag in a statement.

    According to the Danish federation, Rasmussen was suspended because he has missed three doping controls over the past 18 months and had received two warnings form Anti Doping Denmark and one from the UCI.

    Rasmussen had been selected for the Danish world championship team but now will not participate on home roads next week. The final Danish team will be announced later today.

    Rasmussen, 27, rode for Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2009 and 2010 before joining HTC-Highroad this season.  He had signed a contract with Garmin for 2012. Rasmussen won the Philadelphia International Championship in June after riding well at the Giro d'Italia.

    Rasmussen is currently riding the Tour of Britain alongside Mark Cavendish but is expected to leave the race.

     

  • Schlecks lead Luxembourg team at World Championships

    Stage winner Andy Schleck (Leopard - Trek)
    Article published:
    September 15, 2011, 10:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Eisel, Denifl and Rohregger selected for Austria

    Andy and Fränk Schleck will lead the Luxembourg team at the World Championships road race, while their Leopard Trek teammates Stefan Denifl and Thomas Rohregger will support Bernhard Eisel (HTC-Highroad) in the Austria team.

    The Schlecks will be joined by the four other Luxembourg pro riders: Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank-Sungard), Ben Gastauer (AG2R), Jempy Drucker (Verandas Willems-Accent) and Christian Poos (CCI Differdingen).

    Bob Jungels, an Under 23 rider, is the reserve and could race if Andy Schleck decides to miss the world championships. He has not raced since August 28 in Colorado, and has recently missed several races due to the effects of dental surgery.

    None of the Luxembourg riders were selected for the men's Elite time trial.

    Austria is sending three WorldTour riders to Denmark for the Elite men's road race: Eisel, Denifl and Rohregger.

    “For the pro road race, Bernhard Eisel surely has the best chance,” said national coach Franz Hartl.

    Luxembourg for the World Championships:

    Men's Elite road race: Andy Schleck, Fränk Schleck, Jempy Drucker, Christian Poos, Laurent Didier, and Ben Gastauer  Alternate: Bob Jungels

    U-23 time trial: Bob Jungels

    Juniors Men: Christophe Braun, Gilles Heymes, Michel Hübsch, Antoine Mores and Tom Schwarmes

    Women: Nathalie Lamborelle, Christine Majerus, Chantal Hoffmann and Fabienne Schauss

    Austria for the World Championships:

    Elite men's road race: Bernhard Eisel (HTC-Highroad), Stefan Denifil (Leopard Trek), and Thomas Rohregger (Leopard Trek)

    Men U-23 road race: Matthias Brändle (Geox), Marco Haller (Adria Mobil Cycling), Andreas Hofer (Team Tyrol), and Georg...