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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 9, 2010

Date published:
September 09, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Attempted substance use sees Kiwi dumped from national squad

    Article published:
    September 09, 2010, 1:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Stewart out of Commonwealth Games, sidelined for two years

    Adam Stewart has been axed from BikeNZ’s Commonwealth Games squad after being handed a two-year ban for attempting to use prohibited substances. New Zealand’s Sports Tribunal handed down the sentence for Stewart’s attempt to use erythropoietin (EPO) and for possession of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

    “We take our team culture and values very seriously as part of the overall development of our athletes,” said BikeNZ CEO Kieran Turner. “We have a zero tolerance policy to anyone who waivers from this.

    “There’s more to being a professional athlete than just being able to ride a bike fast and we want to develop leadership and responsibility within all who represent us on the world stage,” he added. “Our riders have been part of developing those values and there’s been a buy-in from everyone involved in our program. Adam Stewart knows what he has done has clearly broken that trust.

    Stewart left New Zealand two months ago with the sprint squad, who have been training and racing in USA and Europe in preparation for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. Once advised of the investigation by Drug Free Sport New Zealand, BikeNZ met with Stewart who agreed to leave the squad immediately and return to New Zealand.

    “Our organisation from the Board, staff, stakeholders, coaches and Adam’s team-mates are extremely disappointed and feel let down by his actions,” he said. “This is a young man who has made a very silly mistake and he therefore must pay the consequences of his actions.”

    A decision as to whether Stewart’s place in the team will be awarded to another rider or be filled by an existing rider in the team is yet to be made.

  • Basso looks to Sagan, Oss for Canada success

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas - Doimo)
    Article published:
    September 09, 2010, 4:13 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Giro winner prepared to work at rainy ProTour events

    Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) is prepared to work for his teammates Peter Sagan and Daniel Oss at this week’s Canadian ProTour races. The two one-day races are expected to be held in wet conditions in Quebec City on Friday and Montreal on Sunday.

    “It is a pleasure for me to be in Canada,” Basso said. “I think it is really nice for me to do these two important races to finish off my season, but after the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France my form at the moment is not 100 percent.

    “I feel good but it is normal after racing the Giro and Tour; it is hard to arrive to the end of the season in really good shape,” he added. “Our plan is for our good riders Sagan and Oss, who are both feeling very good. So we will try our best with them.”

    The Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City will challenge the peloton to 15 laps of a hilly and highly technical 12.6 kms circuit, which begins on the Rue Saint Louis, descends through the scenic Parc des Champs de Bataille and winds its way down to the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. The men will weave their way up the steep inclines of the historical centre before passing through doors to the city - Porte St Jean and Porte St Louis - and head back up to the start-finish line on the Rue Saint Louis.

    “I think the circuits will be more difficult than a point-to-point race because you always come back to the climb and it isn’t easy to catch a break if it is a big one,” Basso said. “The strategy of the team; it will be important never to use the whole team to bring back one breakaway. We have to be in the break, all the time in the front and make sure to finish with three guys in good shape, with a lot of energy, to be ready for the last hour of the race.”

    According to Basso, the circuit-style events are well-suited to the young Sagan, who won two stages of the Tour of California, two in...

  • Quebec could land 2015 Worlds

    President of the UCI Pat McQuaid talks about Canada as a possible 2015 road Worlds host.
    Article published:
    September 09, 2010, 6:23 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    McQuaid opens door to another non-European host

    International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid has stated that the UCI Road World Championships could be held outside of Europe in 2015, and pointed to the upcoming location of the ProTour event held in Quebec City, Canada, as a potential host. McQuaid is currently attending North America’s inaugural ProTour events at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec City on Friday, September 10, and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal on Sunday, September 12.

    “The interest is there in terms of globalizing cycling,” McQuaid said. “In 2015, there is a possibility that we will lead with two candidates that are not European and bring the World Championships outside of Europe that year. From that point of view, it is not a decision we can take quickly. For candidature in 2015, the UCI would need to start working with potential candidates starting next year and onwards. But certainly we would welcome a candidature from an established cycling region which has support from the cycling region as well.”

    The UCI has taken the world championships outside of Europe twice in the past seven years. It was last held in Canada in Hamilton, Ontario in 2003, won by Spain’s Igor Astarloa and Sweden’s Susanne Ljungskog. This year’s event will be held in Melbourne, Australia.

    The UCI Road Commission will discuss the possibility of hosting the event outside of Europe every five years, instead of every seven, according to McQuaid. The event was previously held in Montreal, on the same course as Sunday’s race, in 1974 when Belgium’s Eddie Merckx claimed victory.

    “We have had an unwritten rule to move outside of Europe every seven years,” McQuaid said. “Because of globalization, because of demand and requests in what we feel is a big interest, we will be discussing with my management company when we meet in Melbourne in two or three weeks time of the possibility of bringing that seven...

  • Fränk Schleck captains Luxembourg team at world championships

    A happy Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) on the podium after winning stage two.
    Article published:
    September 09, 2010, 9:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Arndt leads German women's teams

    Fränk Schleck will lead the three-rider Luxembourg team in the World Championships in Melbourne, while Judith Arndt has been named as the head of a strong German women's team.

    The Luxembourg Cycling Federation has selected Schleck (Saxo Bank), Ben Gastauer (AG2R), and Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank). All will ride the road race, but it was not specificed who would ride the time trial. Andy Schleck has already announced that he would not ride the worlds this year.

    Judith Arndt will have two HTC-Columbia teammates at her side for the women's road race, along with three riders from the Cervelo TestTeam. Arndt has only three wins to her credit this season compared to 16 of teammate Ina-Yoko Teutenberg but is expected to be the team leader for Melbourne.

    Arndt and Charlotte Becker (Cervelo TestTeam) will also ride the time trial. Becker was selected over former world time trial champion Hanka Kupfernagel due to her strong performance in the Holland Ladies Tour, the German Cycling Federation said.

    Luxembourg Worlds team:

    Elite Men:
    Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank)
    Ben Gastauer (AG2R)
    Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank)

    Joel Zangerle

    Nathalie Lamborelle
    Christine Majerus

    German Women's Worlds team:

    Judith Arndt (HTC-Columbia) road and time trial
    Charlotte Becker (Cervelo TestTeam) road and time trial
    Sarah Düster (Cervelo TestTeam)
    Claudia Häusler (Cervelo TestTeam)
    Luise Keller (HTC-Columbia)
    Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia)
    Trixi Worrack (Equipe Noris Cycling)

  • Fleeman aims for Tour of Britain top ten

    Dan Fleeman
    Article published:
    September 09, 2010, 9:55 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Team leader wants aggressive riding from Raleigh teammates

    Dan Fleeman and his Raleigh team will be hoping to leave a strong impression on their biggest race of the season at the Tour of Britain which starts this weekend. Fleeman is aiming for a place in the top ten while his teammates will be helping their leader as well looking to make it into the breaks.

    “I’ve been doing a couple of pro races in Belgium so the form is pretty good and I’ve just been finishing off my training.I want to do as well on GC as I can. I have had top ten before at the race so thats the aim, but so many factors come into play in that race but I’m sure I can do it,” Fleeman told Cyclingnews.

    “It’s the biggest race of the season for the team. We’ve done five stages so far as a team and we did one in Portugal and level wise that was quite hard, on par perhaps with the Tour of Britain field with some strong Portuguese riders. The Tour of Britain is more prestigious though with bigger names.”

    Fleeman signed with Raleigh at the end of 2009 after his contract with Cervelo TestTeam was not extended. His 2009 season was ruined by injury but in 2010 he has been consistent, finishing in the top 15 in stage races, while also picking up top ten places in the UK road nationals, Rutland and Tour de Pyrenees.

    “I’ve been very consistent,” he said. “But I’ve not had any major stand-out results. Perhaps I’ve been a little bit too consistent. In all the stage races I’ve done I’ve been top 15 overall and in the one-day races I’ve been up there.

    “After having such a bad year in 2009 I’ve been playing it safe with my training and I’ve not had too many peaks and troughs, so hopefully with this being the biggest goal, I’ve taken a bit more risks with training as it’s more or less season over after the Tour of Britain.”

    Fleeman will have face a battle in his aspirations...

  • Gesink to ride the Tour and Vuelta in 2011

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank).
    Article published:
    September 09, 2010, 10:30 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Rabobank climber may not ride both for GC

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) has decided to ride both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana in 2011. “Maybe not both for the general classification, but we'll see how it it goes,” he told De Telegraaf. Gesink wil be Rabobank's team leader for the grand tours after deciding to let Denis Menchov move on to the new Geox team.

    This year, the 24-year-old Dutchman rode only one grand tour, the Tour de France, finishing sixth overall. He is currently in Canada to ride the GP du Quebec and the GP de Montreal.

    Gesink has had injury problems with the grand tours, but has done well in the Vuelta in the past. He finished seventh overall in 2008 and was fourth overall in the Vuelta last year. Gesink had been in second place overall until the 17th stage, when he suffered deep cuts on his left knee in a crash.

    He had to abandon his first Tour de France last year after crashing and breaking his wrist. But rode strongly this year despite crashing and suffering a minor fracture in a bone in his left arm during the mass crash on the Cote de Stockeau on stage two. He was able to continue, however, finishing sixth overall, behind Alberto Contador. He was also second in the best young rider competition behind Any Schleck.

  • Bellis ready for Tour of Britain challenge

    Jonathan Bellis (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    September 09, 2010, 11:00 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Starts first stage race in a year, faces another operation

    Britain's Jonny Bellis (Saxo Bank) will start his first stage race in a year at the Tour of Britain this weekend as he steps up his comeback from a serious scooter crash.

    Bellis crashed his scooter last September in Italy and suffered serious head injuries. The Saxo Bank rider was kept in an induced coma for several weeks before slowly making a recovery. He has undergone intense physiotherapy but has made a remarkable recovery.

    He competed in the Isle of Man and UK road nationals in June and raced the first 150 kilometres of the GP Plouay last month. However the eight-day stage race – which starts in Rochdale and ends in London – will be a test of his endurance as well as his racing speed.

    “It’s my first stage race in a year,” he told Cyclingnews from his base in Italy.

    “It’s going to be tough but if I make it through that would be great. It’s got to be a day by day thing for me, it really does. Once I get to the third or fourth day I’ll start to struggle but I want to make it to the finish.”

    Bellis will form part of a strong Saxo Bank team at the race, that includes the likes of Baden Cooke, Sebastian Haedo, Alex Rasmussen and Richie Porte. While the team won’t be putting too much pressure on the Briton to perform he knows that the race will mark an important stepping stone in his comeback.

    “I don’t think the team expect too much of me but whatever job I have I’ll do my best for the guys. We’re going there with a strong team so we should be able to do something in the race.”

    “Most days will end in bunch sprints and we’ve got three good sprinters so we’ll be looking to do something in the sprints and the GC.”

    With a contract signed with a team for next year, Bellis will be back racing on the ProTour scene again in 2011 but before he starts training for the new year...

  • Riis defends his decision to punish Schleck and O’Grady

    Bjarne Riis waited patiently outside as his riders were presented
    Article published:
    September 09, 2010, 11:34 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Saxo Bank manager looking forward to 2011 Tour battle

    Bjarne Riis has defended his decision to send Andy Schleck and Stuart O’Grady home from the Vuelta and refuting that he was too severe.

    Riis left the Vuelta on Wednesday after meeting with new signing Alberto Contador, who will replace Andy Schleck as team leader at Saxo Bank in 2011. The Danish team manager was not happy with O’Grady’s version of events reported in the Sydney Morning Herald but insists that he and the Schlecks are seperating on good terms.

    ”I can understand that he (O'Grady) is disappointed. But he must be disappointed with himself," Riis told Danish television channel TV 2. ”There is not much to say. If he wants to lie to people, then he should just do it. But I do not think he should do it to me.”

    ”The fact is that we know what occurred. It is clear that if they had just one beer, they wouldn’t be thrown out but we have rules and they must be respected. And they didn’t respect them.”

    O’Grady has revealed he will not ride for the Saxo Bank team again as he focuses on the world championships, but Andy Schleck announced via Twitter than he will target the Giro dell’ Emilia, the GP Begelli, Gran Piemonte and the Tour of Lombardy in October.

    French newspaper L’Equipe revealed that Schleck sent Riis an apology in a text message. Riis admits he has good memories of the time he spent with Andy and Fränk Schleck at the team, but is looking forward to 2011 when he will have Alberto Contador in his squad.

    “I’m proud that Alberto is joining us. And I don’t think I need to be disappointed about Andy and Frank’s decision. I’ve got some good memories and we worked well together. They’ve taken one road and I’m taking another. That’s life, that’s cycling. I’m starting a new page,” Riis told L’Equipe.

    “When the...