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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 24, 2009

Date published:
September 24, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Stetina confident after Avenir performance

    Peter Stetina's looking forward to the U23 road race on Saturday.
    Article published:
    September 23, 2009, 20:04 BST
    Gregor Brown

    USA ready for World Under-23 title fight after positive Avenir tour

    Peter Stetina said that he and his USA teammates are ready for an aggressive World Championship Under-23 road race Saturday in Mendrisio, Switzerland. The team is encouraged by its success in the Tour de l'Avenir earlier this month.

    "The final day of l'Avenir was a good practice race for the Worlds," Stetina told Cyclingnews. "It was a circuit on narrow roads and with two climbs, a really nervous day. We will be ready for an aggressive race Saturday."

    Stetina finished seventh overall in l'Avenir and his teammate Tejay Van Garderen five spots better in second. Chris Barton finished the final Besançon stage third and Alex Howes ninth.

    "We have the strongest team ever here, we were all going good at Avenir," continued Stetina. "Tejay and I were still there on the climbs in Avenir when every other team only had one rider left."

    They face a technical 13.8-kilometre Worlds circuit. The U23 riders will race it 13 times for 179.4 kilometres and 3185 metres of climbing.

    France, Italy and Colombia should all be favourites for the win, and Denmark, Netherlands and Germany are the best-organised teams for controlling the race, he said.

    "USA wants to stay at the front of the race from the start and never fall behind."

    It will be Stetina's last Under-23 World Championships. Stetina, 22, will step up to top-level team Garmin-Slipstream next year after spending this season in the team's developmental ranks. He expects team manager Jonathan Vaughters will start him in stage races suited to climbers and he hopes to start his first Grand Tour next year.

    "It could probably be the Giro or the Vuelta, I would like to do the Tour, though."

  • CAS still to finalise Valverde hearing dates

    Alejandro Valverde also claimed the combination classification win.
    Article published:
    September 23, 2009, 22:14 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Whether Spaniard could lose Vuelta title still unknown

    Vuelta a España champion Alejandro Valverde will have the first of his crucial hearings with the Court for Arbitration in Sport on an unspecified date next month, with the more important UCI/WADA appeal to follow several weeks later.

    The Spanish rider is the subject of two separate cases in front of CAS. The first is his appeal against CONI's decision taken on May 11 to ban him from racing in Italy.

    The move was taken after the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said it had used DNA evidence to prove that some blood bags seized during the Operacion Puerto raids contained the Spanish rider's blood.

    Valverde was prevented from riding the Tour de France because of this, due to the fact that the race passed through Italy.

    The second appeal is one lodged by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in June, trying to compel the Spanish federation to hold a disciplinary hearing against Valverde. The federation has thus far supported the rider despite mounting evidence that he was linked to the doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.

    In the days leading up to Valverde's victory in the Vuelta a España, Cyclingnews sought to obtain clarification of the hearing dates from the court.

    "The CAS would be ready to hear the CONI case in October and the WADA/UCI appeal in November," said CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb. "Some dates have been proposed to the parties but we could not yet make a final determination. A confirmation may come any time this week and we will announce the dates as soon as possible."

    Cyclingnews also sought clarification as to whether Valverde could be stripped of his Vuelta title in the event that he faces a worldwide ban. Reeb said that this...

  • McCann uncertain of his form despite breaking Boardman's record

    David McCann (Ireland)
    Article published:
    September 23, 2009, 22:41 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Irishman improves 16-year-old mark

    Irish rider David McCann has said that he is unsure about his condition heading into Thursday's elite world championship time trial, despite breaking a long-running British record.

    On Sunday, McCann surpassed Chris Boardman's 16-year mark when he competed in the Port Talbot Wheelers 25-mile time trial in South Wales. He averaged over 33 miles per hour to clock a time of 45 minutes and 54 seconds, three seconds quicker than Boardman's old time, and thirteen seconds faster than second-placed Michael Hutchinson (In-Gear Quickvit RT).

    "I had done a short 47-minute ride at home so I knew as I was getting ready for the worlds that I should be pretty close to getting the record," he said to Cyclingnews this week.

    "My initial reaction wasn't good. I didn't feel too well that day and I was disappointed that my power output for the race was quite a bit short of my best. But when I heard that I had beaten Boardman's time, that was definitely a consolation to me."

    Boardman was one of the best time triallists in cycling's recent history, winning three prologues in the Tour de France, one time trial world championship, an Olympic gold medal for the pursuit and also breaking the world hour record on several occasions.

    "Top ride by Dave McCann -25 record 45:54," he said on his Twitter feed earlier this week. "Yet another layer of dust settles on my career! Good to see though, records shouldn't stand forever."

    Despite the feat, McCann has mixed feelings about his performance. "I was training through the Port Talbot race and hopefully the low power was just due to that. With some luck I will rebound from the fatigue there, but to be honest the power figures are a bit of a worry as I am not putting out the power that I was a month ago.

    McCann's previous best performance at the World Championships was 15th in 2004. He competed earlier this year with the Ridesport Racing team, but the squad then collapsed. He is currently...

  • Van Garderen looks ahead to U23 road race

    American Tejay Van Garderen before the 2009 World Championships
    Article published:
    September 23, 2009, 23:05 BST
    Richard Moore

    American Tejay Van Garderen comes up short in U23 time trial

    Tejay Van Garderen (USA) was heavily fancied for at least a medal in the men's Under-23 time trial at the world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, but the 21-year-old, who will ride next season for Columbia-HTC, could only manage 12th.

    Van Garderen was at a loss to explain his placing, beyond admitting that he struggled after the climb to regain his momentum. "After the hill I had trouble getting it rolling," he said, "but otherwise I liked the course and I felt OK.

    "I didn't have a specific goal here," he added. "I'm focusing on both [the time trial and Saturday's road race], but I did better time trials [than Wednesday's] earlier in the year. And I think I prefer time trials when they're in the middle of a stage race."

    Van Garderen will join Columbia-HTC team next year, after two seasons with the Rabobank Continental team. It is a move he describes as "an exciting new adventure with one of the best teams in the world. They've signed six guys who are under-23, so we will be a super young team, but with a lot of talent."

    He also goes into the road race on Saturday buoyed by the strength of his American team. "We have a winning team," he said. "We have a strategy and a good idea of what we're going to do."

    As for the world title-winning ride of Jack Bobridge - who will form part of a strong Australian team in Saturday's road race - Van Garderen was full of praise. "He was second at the track world championships behind Taylor Phinney [in the senior men's pursuit], so we knew he was very strong."

  • Radio recommendations sure to raise the ire of teams

    Swiss Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) uses his race radio in Vuelta a España stage two
    Article published:
    September 24, 2009, 8:42 BST
    Les Clarke

    Decisions also made on biological passport, team representatives

    The UCI has announced the outcomes of its Management Committee meeting yesterday in Lugano, Switzerland, which include accepting the UCI Road Commission's recommendation to gradually phase out the use of two-way radio for all categories of rider.

    There were also decisions made regarding personnel of the UCI's ProTour Coucil, with Liquigas boss Roberto Amadio and Garmin-Slipstream general manager Jonathan Vaughters appointed as team representatives.

    It's the move to gradually eliminate the use of radios in races that will surely cause the most comment, however. The two-stage trial of racing without radios during this year's Tour de France was treated with disinterest at best amongst teams, with some riders and managers expressing contempt for the idea.

    The UCI is pressing on with the reform regardless. "The members were of the opinion that two-way radio distorts the nature of cycle sport. They also took into account the desire expressed by the majority of those involved in cycling to prohibit the equipment," said an official UCI press release issued today.

    It's been stated that a calendar will be drawn up to provide a timeline for the phasing out of radios.

    Additionally, the Committee decided upon venues for various cycling events over the coming three years, covering all disciplines of the sport.

    While most attention was focused on the announcement that the 2012 road world championships would be held in the Limburg region, the UCI Management Committee awarded the 2011 BMX world championships to Copenhagen (Denmark), the 2011 Para-cycling world titles to Roskilde (Denmark) and the 2010 Master Cyclo-cross world championships to Mol (Belgium).

    Although details haven't been released yet, cycling's governing body also approved a number of calendars for upcoming seasons. They include the 2010 Road International Calendar; 2010-2011 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup (provisional calendar); 2010 UCI Mountain Bike...

  • The Elite Men's Worlds time trial is on!

    World Champion Bert Grabsch (Columbia-HTC)
    Article published:
    September 24, 2009, 9:22 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Five rider groups to contest demanding circuit, full list of rider's start times

    The first Elite Men's event of this year's World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, gets underway on Thursday at 11.30am Central European time (CET). The individual time trial promises a spectacle, as the very best riders of the discipline will fight for the rainbow jersey on a demanding circuit of 16.6 kilometres, to be raced three times, for a total of 49.8 kilometres.

    After a first, flat three kilometres on the Via Vignalunga - the home stretch of the 1971 road race won by Eddy Merckx - the road turns on a gentle descent of a little more than two kilometres into the village of Capolago.

    The riders will then keep their momentum on a flat road between Capolago and Riva San Vitale for almost two kilometres before the first uphill stretch starts, lasting 700 metres.

    After a further level section and a gentle one kilometre false flat, a tough 650 m ascent follows at Rossa di Rancate, including gradients of up to 10 percent. The last six kilometres back to the finish will take place on long straight roads with only a few uphill sections.

    The riders contesting the race against the clock are divided into five groups of 13 riders each, with the last group including 14 riders. Starting times of each group are 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm, with the last rider expected in the finish around 4.45pm CET.

    The favourites of the event will be showing off their excellence in the final group. Riders like Alexander Vinokourov, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Svein Tuft (2008 silver medal), Bradley Wiggins, Gustav Larsson (fifth last year), two-time time trial world champion Fabian Cancellara and the reigning rainbow jersey Bert Grabsch will be the last riders to tackle the course, with Grabsch getting underway at 3.43pm CET.

    Of the final 14 riders in the final group, four ride for Team Columbia-HTC, three for Garmin-Slipstream, and two each for Saxo Bank and Astana. Katusha, Rabobank and Quick Step are represented by...

  • Pinotti out for Worlds top nine

    Marco Pinotti (Columbia-HTC) will be the lead rider for the team tomorrow after today
    Article published:
    September 24, 2009, 13:53 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Italian Marco Pinotti out to better 10th in Plouay Worlds

    Marco Pinotti (Italy) aims for top nine in today's World Championship in Mendrisio, Switzerland, better than his 10th spot in the 2000 edition.

    "This is my seventh Worlds, all in the time trial," Pinotti told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The best place was my first Worlds, tenth in Plouay, France. I would like to better my past result, to be in the first nine spots."

    The time trial covers three 16.6-kilometre circuits, 49.8 kilometres. The 650-metre long Rancate, with sections of 10 percent, features each circuit.

    "The course is suited to me. There is a hard climb, halfway, 900 metres long, but the hardest bit is 500 metres in where it is nine to 10 percent. I will use a 42x11 there. The second part should not be so bad."

    Pinotti, who rides for trade team Columbia-HTC, is a four-time Italian champion. He finished 13th at the World Championships last year in Varese, Italy.

  • Frischkorn retires from cycling

    Will Frischkorn (Garmin-Slipstream) during the Tour of Missouri, his last race as a professional.
    Article published:
    September 24, 2009, 17:45 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Frischkorn will continue to work with Garmin-Slipstream

    Garmin-Slipstream's Will Frischkorn has announced his retirement from professional cycling with immediate effect. The 28-year-old will stay with the US-based team, working closely with its sponsorship management.

    "The chance to stay with the team, work within the sport and still live in Gerona is an exciting prospect. Some day I could be a directeur sportif but for now I'll focus on helping with the sponsors and the products that we have," Frischkorn told Cyclingnews at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    "I loved racing my bike and the opportunities it's given me. I've had a wonderful life as a pro," Frischkorn said. "It's been a blast. For a guy with my abilities I had a great run at it. I think I hit my potential but I'm excited for something new and fresh."

    Garmin-Slipstream's manager, Jonathan Vaughters, added his happiness with Frischkorn's switch: "Will is a highly gifted person, with a love of hard work. We're excited for him to come help us make this team the best in the world from the other side of the fence."

    Frischkorn turned professional with Mercury in 2000 but moved to TIAA-CREF/5280 in 2005, which later became Slipstream and then Garmin-Slipstream. In his career he won twelve races, most recently as a member of Garmin-Slipstream's team trial trial squad which claimed the opening stage of the this year's Tour of Qatar. However, ever one to praise his teammates, Frischkorn pointed towards two other moments as his career highlights. "Being part of last year's Tour de France team was an unbelievable experience. Looking at where the team came from and to compete at that level was really special. Not that many people get that opportunity and it was a huge privilege."

    Frischkorn's last race was the Tour of Missouri and despite pulling out of the race he was an integral part of Dave Zabriskie's winning ride. "Finishing things...