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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 29, 2011

Date published:
September 29, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Guardini frustrated to miss out on Copenhagen Worlds

    Andrea Guardini (Farnese VIni-Neri Sottoli) wins stage 1 of the Tour of Turkey
    Article published:
    September 28, 2011, 15:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian welcomes arrival of Pozzato at Farnese-Neri

    Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) was a frustrated spectator as Italy failed to secure a medal in the under 23 road race at the UCI World Championships last week. Although he has 11 wins to his name in the professional ranks this season, Guardini was eligible to race among the under 23s according to UCI rules because his trade team is not part of the WorldTour.

    The Italian federation, however, ultimately decided not to bring the sprinter or any other ProbContinental riders to Copenhagen while some other countries opted to include such riders.  For example, the under 23 race was won by France’s Arnaud Démare, who rode for FDJ in the second half of this season.

    While Guardini accepted his non-selection, he noted the discrepancy in approaches. "I don’t think the Italian federation’s policy is right, because it goes against what the rest of the world is doing,” Guardini told ciclismoweb.net. “I think a lot of it needs to be looked at again – the others bring professionals because their amateur teams are Continental teams.

    “The Italian scene hasn’t evolved like in other countries, where they have a different concept and where the Continental teams race with the under 23 teams.”

    In spite of his disappointment at missing out on Worlds selection, Guardini has enjoyed a hugely successful debut season as a professional. He got off to a flying start by rattling off five stages at the Tour de Langkawi, and continued winning throughout the year, with victories at the Tour of Qatar, Tour of Tukey and Giro di Padania.

    “This first year has been fantastic as it is, because it was...

  • Skil ends relationship with Dutch Pro Continental team

    Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano) was an emphatic winner.
    Article published:
    September 28, 2011, 17:30 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    New title sponsor commits for three years

    Skil has ended its relationship with Iwan Spekenbrink's Pro Continental Skil-Shimano squad but the Dutch manager has announced that the team will unveil a new title sponsor at the start of the season. The new team is aiming to reach the ranks of the WorldTour and has a three-year sponsorship deal in place.

    Cyclingnews understands that the team had been searching for a new backer for 2012 and that although Skil was willing to remain as a secondary sponsor it did not fit with the team's plans for the future.

    The new sponsor has signed a three-year deal, and will be joined by Shimano Inc. (bicycle parts), Felt Bicycles (frames) and Pearl Izumi (cycling clothes) as the team's main backers.

    In a press release issued by the team, Spekenbrink thanked Skil: "The management is grateful to its current main sponsor Skil for the pleasant and successful cooperation and the confidence of the past years. As Skil-Shimano, the young cycling structure has experienced a steady growth and has established a firm basis by working with a clear view, clear core values and a personal philosophy."

    The team is still aiming for a spot in the WorldTour and places in the major Grand Tours, something that has eluded them since its Tour de France debut in 2009.

    "The new set-up allows the team to definitively join the international cycling top. The main sponsor will be presented in spring of 2012 as a central part of its new marketing and communication strategy."

    "The five guidelines, collected under the working title 1t4i (Team spirit, Inspiration, Integrity, Improvement, Innovation), form a short summary of the mission, view, core values and method the team represents and that are also shared by the partners of the team."

    Along with the new title sponsor the team will...

  • Video: Sergeant on Gilbert's departure

    Marc Sergeant.
    Article published:
    September 28, 2011, 18:26 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Belgian looks forward to new Lotto team in 2012

    Marc Sergeant will manage a new-look Lotto team in 2012 with Philippe Gilbert the biggest departure. A number of new signings have already been drafted in to fill the void and Cyclingnews understands that Lars Bak and Greg Henderson will be announced in the coming days and weeks.

    However, the loss of Gilbert will be hard to get over. Sergeant signed the Belgian one-day specialist from FDJ three years ago and built his entire team around him. The partnership reaped its benefits with Gilbert wining classic after classic, and this season he has been almost unbeatable, with a long list of victories including the Montepaschi Strade Bianche, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, Belgian championship, Clasica San Sebastian and the opening stage of the Tour de France.

    In this exclusive video, the Lotto boss tells Cyclingnews that he knew Gilbert would leave the team months ago once he knew that bigger financial offers were put on the table.

  • Hughes aiming for her best at London Olympics

    Evelyn Garcia (El Salvador) and Clara Hughes (Canada) on the attack.
    Article published:
    September 28, 2011, 20:00 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Canadian lights up Worlds road race

    After a strong showing in the women’s road race at the UCI World Championshios, Clara Hughes is looking forward to the London 2012 Olympics, where she is aiming to ride her “best bike race yet.” The multiple Olympic medallist spent the best part of a decade out of the sport as she focused on her speed-skating career, but she returned to the highest level this season.

    A bronze medallist in the time trial and road race at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Hughes went on to take four more Olympic medals as a speed-skater in the Winter Games, including gold in Turin in 2006.

    The Canadian was a prominent performer at the Worlds, finishing 5th in the time trial and animating a deadlocked road race with a brave attack that was only snuffed out on the last lap. Speaking to Cyclingnews shortly after crossing the line, Hughes was pleased with her performance on a circuit that saw few riders willing to show their hand before the finishing sprint.

    “I’m really stoked,” she said. “That was my first real international road race since the 2000 Olympics, so it’s nice to be back. I was kind of worried before that I’d be super sketched out in the pack, but I was fine.”

    The 39-year-old admitted that she was a taken aback by the conservative tactics on show in Copenhagen, with the Dutch, German and Italian teams happy to control the race and take their chances in the sprint, which was eventually won by Giorgia Bronzini.

    “I was really surprised but I’m glad at least I made a move,” Hughes said of the tactical stalemate. “It was a pretty lame race. I understand the sprinter teams, but not every nation had sprinters who could win the race. I’m surprised other nations...

  • Gonzalez de Galdeano to step down as Euskaltel-Euskadi manager

    Igor González de Galdeano strikes out for ONCE
    Article published:
    September 28, 2011, 20:55 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Basque seeks new challenges

    Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano is to step down as manger of Euskaltel-Euskadi at the end of this year, citing personal reasons and the desire to take his career in a new direction. The 37-year-old has been part of the management set-up at the Basque squad since 2006 and stepped up to the role of manager in 2009.

    “I need new challenges and that has brought about my decision,” Gonzalez de Galdeano said in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. “The six years at the team have provided me with unique professional and personal development. I’m convinced of the ability of the coaches who worked with me to bring this sporting project forward.”

    Gonzalez de Galdeano will officially continue in his role until December 31. Euskaltel-Euskadi president Miguel Madariaga was described as “worried” by his departure in a statement issued by the team.

    “The only thing I asked of Igor was to stay in his role until the end of this season,” Madariaga said. “The reasons for leaving are Igor’s and it’s up to him to explain them if he thinks it is necessary.”

    Gonzalez de Galdeano began his career as a rider with Euskadi in 1995, before switching to Vitalicio Seguros, where he finished 2nd in the 1999 Vuelta a España behind Jan Ullrich. A spell under Manolo Saiz at ONCE followed, where he twice finished 5th in the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey in 2002, but also returned a positive test for salbutamol and missed the 2003 Tour. He retired from racing in 2005 and initially combined his role at Euskaltel-Euskadi with studies at the Basque Institute of Physical Education (IVEF) in Vitoria.

     

     


     

  • Murphy signs two-year deal with Kenda/5-hour Energy

    John Murphy (BMC)
    Article published:
    September 28, 2011, 23:10 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Team prepares to sign two additional sponsors

    BMC Racing's John Murphy will return to his roots in the US next season after signing a two-year contract with Kenda/5-hour Energy. The Continental outfit also brought on board Paul Mach from Bissell and Nate English from Yahoo! Cycling.

    "Murphy brings us ProTour experience," said general manager Chad Thompson. "He is a strong Classics rider, an amazing lead-out man and a sprinter. He will be everything for us in 2012. He will compete heavily in the crits and all major stage races. He is being brought on to captain the team with [Sean] Milne and [Chad] Hartley."

    Thompson confirmed returning riders Milne and Hartley along with Luca Damiani, Phil Gaimon, Isaac Howe, Pat Lemieux, Jim Stemper, Bobby Sweeting, Roman Kilun. It was recently announced that the team's all-rounder Ben Day would not be returning to the team having signed a contract with the Professional Continental outfit UnitedHealthcare.

    The team will maintain its UCI Continental license during the 2012 season. Kenda will return as the team's title sponsor for one more year and additional sponsors include WCJ Wire, 5-Hour Energy, SRAM and Geargrinder. According to Thompson, he will announce the signing of two more sponsors at a later date.

    "There will be some changes in sponsorship we hope, but Kenda remains title for at least one more year," Thompson said. "We are working on two big sponsors now. We are hoping to announce a co-sponsor soon enough and the ball is in their court right now, fingers crossed. We were discussing making the Pro Continental jump early, but we opted to remain Continental and make the jump in 2013 as planned, hopefully."

    Kenda/5-hour Energy will compete in a full schedule that includes National Racing Calendar (NRC)...

  • Evans tops Australian travel poll

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    Article published:
    September 29, 2011, 1:36 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Tour de France winner more popular than cricketers, football players

    Off the back of his historic victory at this year's Tour de France, the wave of recognition for Cadel Evans continues to grow in his home country with Cadel Evans voted the athlete Australians would most like to sit next to on a plane.

    In a survey conducted by online travel company Expedia on Facebook, more than one in seven said that the BMC star was the sports personality they would most like to buckle up next to. Evans beat out athletes from cricket, AFL, rugby league and union – sports which traditionally dominate the Australian sporting landscape.

    Five-time Olympic gold medallist, swimmer Ian Thorpe was next best (13 per cent) while in third place was surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore, who, was voted as the most popular female sports star in the survey, ahead of the likes of Michael Clarke (cricket), Benji Marshall (rugby league) and Harry Kewell (football).

    Upon his return to Australia for a brief visit in August, Evans was congratulated by around 25,000 people at a civic reception in Melbourne and was also lauded for his achievements in federal parliament by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Media coverage of Evans and the sport of cycling has reached unprecedented levels in recent months, and has had a profound effect on investment interest in GreenEdge which is scouting a UCI ProTour licence for 2012.

    It's a long way from 2008 when an injured Evans finished as runner-up on the podium at the Tour de France for a second time, a period in which the Victorian has gone on record as saying that he felt the Australian public turned against him for "losing the Tour."

     

  • Phelan having an 'eye opening' season with Drapac

    Adam Phelan (Drapac Porsche) from the Australian Capital Territory in action during the time trial for the men's under 23 division in Learmonth.
    Article published:
    September 29, 2011, 4:30 BST
    By:
    Alex Hinds

    20-year-old Australian rider hopeful of a result at the 2.1 rated Jayco Herald Sun Tour

    After finding his feet last season on the Australian National Road Series, Adam Phelan’s decision to join up with the Continental Drapac Cycling Team has been a real ‘eye opener’. The team, which has been integral in helping talents like Mitch Docker and Darren Lapthorne develop over the years, have thrown Phelan in to the deep end with a racing programme on three different continents, against some of the world’s best riders.

    A prologue victory in the Tour of Taiwan earlier in the year was an encouraging start to his time with the team, but the real step-up for the 20-year-old was travelling to Europe where he admits he was at least at first, a little ‘star struck’.

    "Going there was a massive learning curve. These are the guys you’ve been watching race the Tour de France and other big races," said Phelan. "But you slowly realise that they’re just ‘other bike riders’, albeit really good ‘other bike riders’, and that you can compete with them.

    "Then to race with 200 European professionals in 1.1 races is a big jump," he continued. "It’s really important though. You figure out how to best conserve your energy during a big race; and I’ve been able to do several races like that this year, where I’ve just been able to do just grow and learn."

    Having recently returned to Australia, Phelan has translated much of his experience overseas into some pretty impressive results. He was fourth overall in the Tour of the Murray River, and nearly broke Genesys’ 2011 stranglehold on Australian stage races at the