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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Date published:
April 17, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Video: A tour of the GreenEdge team bus

    GreenEdge's awning is a critical piece of equipment when mechanics have to work outside in the rain.
    Article published:
    April 16, 2012, 23:31 BST
    Cycling News

    White's tour of the team bus

    During the Spring Classics GreenEdge took Cyclingnews' video team on a tour of their new team bus. The Australian outfit have had a strong debut season, with wins in the Tour Down Under and Milan-San Remo, courtesy of Simon Gerrans.

    With the team now fully focussed on the Ardennes, before their first grand tour at Giro d'Italia, team director Matt White invited us onto the team's impressive team bus.

  • Contador confirms Eneco Tour and hints at Saxo Bank return

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    April 17, 2012, 10:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard also hopes for Worlds participation

    Following the declarations made by Saxo Bank sporting director Tristan Hoffman, Alberto Contador has confirmed that the Eneco Tour will be his first race coming back to competition after his doping suspension, which ends on August 5. The Spaniard also hinted that the Danish team managed by Bjarne Riis will very probably be the outfit which which he will be signing for the remainder of the year, despite having received at least five other offers.

    In a radio interview aired on Cadena Ser, Contador announced that he would return to racing prior to the Clásica San Sebastián, "in the Eneco Tour. I can also confirm that I will be at the Vuelta a España. I'm very motivated for every race I attend. Also, to race your home Grand Tour is special, and I will be there even more motivated than if I had 80 days of competition in my legs," the Tour de France winner said.

    Being one of the best cyclists in the world and currently on the market, several teams have naturally been interested in Contador, who has to confirm the signing of a deal. But the 29-year-old has clearly stated his preference for his former team Saxo Bank - and not necessarily for financial reasons.

    "I'm working on it [contract negotiations - ed.]. There were six interested teams, amongst them Movistar. But without a doubt, my priority is the Saxo Bank team, who gave me their unconditional support through these difficult times, and that's something that money can't buy. There are things you need to honour and they are priceless."

    Contador will be targeting a second overall victory at the Vuelta a España after his 2008 win, in the hope of being able to "pay back all the support" he received in his home...

  • Basso returns to action at Giro del Trentino

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) is back from injury
    Article published:
    April 17, 2012, 10:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian back to racing today after early season crashes

    Back-to-back crashes at Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya in March have been the main stories of Ivan Basso's stop-start 2012 season so far, but the Italian is hoping to commence his season for real at today's Giro del Trentino - a race he won in 2009. The four-stage event gets underway with a team trial at Riva del Grada in the north of Italy and together with next week's Tour de Romandie, it will form Basso's preparations for the Giro d'Italia, which is less than three weeks away.

    "I am thinking of this race as a step forward in my journey to the Giro d'Italia," Basso said at a press conference ahead of the race, where he answered questions alongside his compatriots Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and Alessandro Ballan (BMC). "The Giro del Trentino and the Tour de Romandie are the races that will decide if I will be competing for the maglia rosa."

    The Liquigas-Cannondale rider, who won his iconic home Grand Tour in 2006 and 2010, injured his knee at Paris-Nice in March and then crashed again at the Volta a Catalunya later that month, aggravating that same injury. He has not raced competitively since then, but has spent several days training with his team in the mountains of Tenerife, getting some valuable miles under his belt.

    "I see this race a little like my second season debut," he said. "I can't wait to have the perfect rhythm and I have to restore my confidence to the dynamics of a race. The Trentino has some very tough climbs and that will be great for my progress, but keeping up with the best riders will be tough."

  • Blue mountains jersey for 2012 Giro d'Italia

    The maglie of the 2012 Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    April 17, 2012, 11:41 BST
    Cycling News

    New jerseys unveiled in Milan

    The jerseys for the 2012 Giro d’Italia were unveiled in Milan on Monday, with the major novelty being the change of the mountains jersey from green to blue.

    The move comes at the behest of sponsor Banca Mediolanum, who has renewed its support of the mountains classification for a further four years. While there is understandable regret at the loss of the evocative maglia verde, introduced in 1974 and worn by the likes of Marco Pantani, Robert Millar, Lucien Van Impe and Claudio Chiappucci over the years, a reality of cycling since time immemorial is that sponsors dictate the colours of leader’s jerseys.

    The leader’s maglia rosa, itself introduced in 1931 to advertise Gazzetta dello Sport, also undergoes something of a makeover for 2012. The iconic pink still remains, of course, but the borders of the jersey are decorated with tweets from fans and riders alike, including Stephen Roche and Vincenzo Nibali.

    The points leader will again wear red, as has been the case since 2010, while the best young riders will compete for the white jersey.

    Among those present at the launch at the Just Cavalli café in Milan on Monday were the 2012 Giro’s madrina, actress Giorgia Würth, as well as Mario Cipollini and Filippo Pozzato. After missing out on the big win in the cobbled classics, Pozzato is now setting his sights on stage victory and early leadership at the Giro d’Italia.

    “In the north, I didn’t go badly but I didn’t win,” Pozzato told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Now I have to win.”


  • Scarponi confirms Giro d'Italia participation

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre - ISD) on the attack
    Article published:
    April 17, 2012, 12:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian builds up at Giro del Trentino

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) has confirmed that he will ride the Giro d’Italia in spite of earlier toying with the idea of forgoing the corsa rosa in favour of the Tour de France in 2012.

    After his teammate Damiano Cunego intimated to Cyclingnews at the weekend that he was likely to line up at the Giro, Scarponi was quick to throw his hat emphatically into the ring.

    “I will do the Giro d’Italia,” Scarponi told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I was fascinated, attracted, almost seduced by the Tour de France, but the Giro is my race, on my roads, among my people. I’ve shaken off the last doubts and reservations.”

    Scarponi stood on the second step of the podium in Milan at the end of last year’s Giro, but was retrospectively awarded the title after his former Liberty Seguros teammate Alberto Contador was stripped of the maglia rosa when he was handed a backdated suspension for his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

    The Italian was muted in his reaction to his belated Giro title in February. “Contador’s suspension elevated me to being the winner of the 2011 Giro, but I want to win the 2012 Giro on the field,” Scarponi said.

    Scarponi puts the finishing touches to his preparation for May at the Giro del Trentino, which gets underway on Tuesday. He won the general classification twelve months ago as he enjoyed a rich vein of spring form. Although he has started 2012 more steadily, Scarponi showcased his condition at the Giro dell’Appennino on Sunday.

    “I like the...

  • Galimzyanov confesses to EPO use

    Denis Galimzyanov's handwritten letter of confession.
    Article published:
    April 17, 2012, 13:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Russian "ready to face appropriate punishment"

    Denis Galimzyanov has confessed to EPO use and renounced the right to request the analysis of his B sample after he returned a positive test for the substance in an out of competition control on March 22.

    In an open letter published on the Katusha website on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after news of his positive test first broke, Galimzyanov took sole responsibility for his actions and declared himself “ready to face the appropriate punishment.”

    Galimzyanov insisted that he had acted alone, and his handwritten note moves to absolve his Katusha team of the blame. “I would like to draw A PARTICULAR ATTENTION for that fact that Katusha Team has nothing to do with what happened,” he wrote. “No team member knew and could know about what I did. It was my personal decision and my responsibility.”

    Galimzyanov has been part of the wider Katusha set-up since he first turned professional. He joined Premier in 2006, which subsequently became the Katusha Continental team and he made the jump to ProTour level in 2009. His first major impact on the world stage came last season, as he took stage victories at the Three Days of De Panne and the Tour of Beijing, as well as Paris-Brussels.

    The 25-year-old Russian confirmed that the out of competition control took place on March 22 in Italy, where he resides on the shores of Lake Iseo during the racing season.

    Galimzyanov's handwritten confession, which was then translated from Russian into English and published on the Katusha website under the title “Letter of explanation by Denis Galimzyanov,” gives no details as to the...

  • Terpstra to miss 2012 Tour de France

    Niki Terpstra soloed to the win in the Dwars door Vlaanderen
    Article published:
    April 17, 2012, 17:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutchman reveals he has different targets this year

    Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has enjoyed a successful run of form in the Classics over the last few weeks, with good finishes at the Tour of Flanders (sixth) and Paris-Roubaix (fifth) plus victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen and a key role in teammate Tom Boonen's unprecedented run of results this spring. And now that he has had time to reflect on his season so far and discuss his targets for the remainder of the year with sporting director Patrick Lefevere, he has revealed that he will skip this year's Tour de France.

    "The Tour de France does not really fit in my program," Terpstra told De Telegraaf. "I will ride the Vuelta a Espana, because that is again ideal preparation for the road world championships. So I have had to choose between the two great races, because both are certainly not possible in a year like this.

    "I have started the Tour four years in a row now. In 2010, I got sick and unfortunately had to go home two days after the prologue, and in the other three cases I have had little chance of a stage victory. Everyone in the team is also in full agreement with me that the Olympics and world championship races have been better for me to peak.

    "This doesn't mean that in future I will never start the Tour again, but my next big goal is the national championships on the road in late June in Kerkrade," said the 2010 Dutch national champion.