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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Date published:
April 19, 2011, 06:00
  • Collins to lead Vanderkitten-Focus to successful season

    U23 classification leader Emily Collins (Cyclosport NZ) is interviewed on the presentation stage.
    Article published:
    April 18, 2011, 15:04
    Kirsten Frattini

    Young New Zealander looking for World Championship spot

    Vanderkitten-Focus Pro Women's Cycling is revamped and ready to take on a full season of National Racing Calendar (NRC) events. This year's nine-woman squad will look to its young and opportunistic rider from New Zealand, Emily Collins, to bring the team ample podium success.

    Collins took second in the Sea Otter road race to Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong, and ended the weekend fifth overall despite a crash on the final stage.

    "We've put together a roster that has a few riders from California along with some young riders and foreign riders," said Vanderkitten-Focus technical directeur, Jono Coulter. "I think Emily Collins is probably our best talent who is young but has been racing internationally and doing very well. She is a great new talent to have on the team."

    David Verrecchia, owner of Vanderkitten women's company, built the team in 2007 and went on to win the USA Crits Series in 2008 and 2009, however, it downsized to a local-California team in 2010. Verrecchia offered Coulter a position on the team as a directeur sportif and to help build the team back up to a national-level this year.

    "It was my vision when I came on board to build the team back to what it was before, or bigger because I didn't want to see another women's team go under," Coulter said. "David found that it wasn't possible to run the women's clothing line and the team and he had Jeff Hopkins work for him in the past and that really worked, so he's got me on board this year."

    "Once we had a commitment from David, we started working on putting the team together," he added. "The best thing that happened was that Focus Bikes came on board in a big way as a new sponsor. They are also based in California and they are a great company that want to get behind women's racing."

    Collins, 20, recently placed second at the Sea Otter Classic stage two road race, won by Olympic gold medallist and double UCI time trial world champion Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12). The Vanderkitten-Focus team also includes Jennifer Reither, Starla Teddergreen, Jasmin Hurikino, Maura Kinsella, Anna Lang, Vanessa Drigo, Jennifer Weinbrecht and Laura Cooke.

    Collins is no stranger to road cycling success having placed in multiple top 10 finishes in Europe while racing for the Dutch Swabo Ladies Team, along with a second place overall at the NSW International Criterium Series and top five finishes at the New Zealand National Championships and the UCI Women's Tour of New Zealand, where she won the Under 23 overall title.

    Coulter approached Collins to join the team following her strong performance at the NSW International Criterium Series. "They offered me a spot on the team and of course I was very keen, what's not to love," Collins said. "I gave myself a few weeks to think about it as at that stage I was dead set on returning to Europe for a longer and bigger season. America seemed very appealing however because of the lifestyle, the type of racing and the hills. I also knew that quite a number of Kiwi riders would be spending the season over here too and it's always nice to see familiar faces."

    The team recently competed at the Redlands Bicycle Classic and will participate in a number of other top events that the USA Crits Speedweek, Liberty Classic and the Tour de Nez. Collins hopes that a series of strong performances in top level racing will garner a spot on the New Zealand National Team at the UCI Road World Championship in September in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    "I think it has been a fantastic move so far and I'm definitely going to be doing more stage racing than I was last year and I hope this will help me grow as a rider," Collins said. "Last year I certainly strengthened on the flats and this year I hope to work on my time trial because at this stage, my TT is my weakness.

    "I'm only young as a rider, and I'm certainly keen to learn as much as possible during my time here. Every opportunity counts. I'm loving the team too. All the Vanderkitten girls have been very welcoming and they're a great group, I can't wait to race more with them."


  • Teams walk out of UCI meeting over race radio ban

    Article published:
    April 18, 2011, 15:09
    Stephen Farrand

    McQuaid to Vaughters: "I have had enough of this high moral ground from you"

    Managers from many of the leading teams in the peloton walked out of a UCI meeting in Brussels on Monday afternoon in protest at the UCI's refusal to discuss the use of radio earpieces.

    39 representatives from the 42 ProTeam and Professional Continental teams attended the day-long meeting in the Sheraton hotel close to Brussels Airport. They patiently listened to presentations on anti-doping, the ProTeam registration and ranking process for 2012, bike design and finance.

    But when the debate turned to the ban of race radio and several French-speaking journalists were invited to express their point of view, representatives from many of the major teams who are in favour of race radio left the meeting while UCI President Pat McQuaid was still speaking.

    Amongst them were Bjarne Riis of Saxo Bank-SunGard, Roberto Amadio of Liquigas-Cannondale, Johan Bruyneel of RadioShack, Rolf Aldag from HTC-Highroad and representatives from Team Sky and Garmin-Cervelo, Along with others they formed a majority, leaving he conference room largely empty.

    Some insisted they had flights to catch but the atmosphere was tense and their anger was apparent. One team manager who did not want to be identified told Cyclingnews: "They don't want to listen to us. They want to decide and tried to give us a talk about the history of cycling and the bicycle. It was a joke."

    Many of the team representatives gathered in the hotel bar to talk briefly. It was suggested that some kind of statement would be issued, but Johan Bruyneel would not confirm that and refused to comment as he collected his luggage and left.

    McQuaid stayed in the meeting room and after the discussions were over, commented to the press, "It doesn’t surprise me (that they walked out). They have a completely closed mind to anyone else's opinion. If is not their opinion, they don't accept it," he told Cyclingnews.

    "The decision has been made. We've said many times that we're will willing to work on any aspect of communications that helps safety and is utilized for safety. But the UCI will not accept direct communication from team directors to riders."

    Jonathan Vaughters, the head of the AIGCP (Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels) was not at the meeting but had a bitter email exchange with McQuaid during the day.

    In an email seen by Cyclingnews, McQuaid wrote to Vaughters:

    "I have had enough of this High Moral Ground from you and I am refraining myself from writing exactly what I am thinking.

    "Enough to inform you that when I have finished with the teams today you will have plenty to "reflect" on and communication will be the furthest thing from your mind!!”

    Following the meeting, the AIGCP released a statement outlining its disappointment at the way in which the meeting was conducted and explaining why its members had opted to leave:

    “At today’s meeting with the UCI in Brussels we hoped to agree the setting up of an independent expert review of all aspects of race radio usage including the best way to broadcast race safety warnings and the legal liabilities of a change to the existing system, alongside its use for tactics and team building. Sadly our approach was rejected by the UCI leadership.”

    According to the AIGCP, the UCI had rejected appeals to alter the agenda of the meeting in order to devote adequate time and importance to the issue of race radio usage.

    “They used excuses of ‘media invitations’ and a lack of notice of the request to avoid the debate,” read the AIGCP statement. “Their ‘bureaucracy before safety’ does not inspire confidence or create goodwill.”

    The tone of Pat McQuaid’s email appears to have stoked the discontent of the AIGCP still further.

    “Having had our request refused, reviewed the tone of the e-mail exchanges prior to the meeting and the comments made at it, many teams choose to symbolically withdraw before the close of today’s UCI meeting,” the statement continued.

    McQuaid later explained his reasons for refusing to alter the meeting's plan.

    "The agenda for this meeting was sent out on the first of April and then yesterday afternoon, he (Vaughters) comes out with a demand for a change of the agenda. You can't operate like that. Not only does he not come to the meeting, he doesn't know how to operate. He thinks the UCI is just being belligerent towards him but he needs to understand that to organise a meeting like this takes a lot of time and a lot of effort."

    McQuaid conceded that the radio debate is about governance and power within the sport.

    "It maybe to do with power but if it is, it's their problem," he said of the teams.

    "They don't realise what their place is. In this sport and in most other international sports, you have an international authority and international federation that is the government and governance of the sport and regulates the sport. Organisers in our sport organise events, teams have riders who ride races."

    "I think what's going on here is the teams want to take other roles. They want to be in roles of governance as well. They can't do that. It doesn't happen anywhere. When FIFA changed the offside rule six or seven yeas ago, they didn’t ask the teams. They did it because they felt it was good for football."

    Despite the walk out, McQuaid insisted the meeting had not been a bad day for the future of the sport.

    "It hasn't been a bad day. We had a very good meeting today, it was very constructive. A lot of good things were said all day and a lot of information was passed over to the teams," he said.

    "We had a real good meeting and other than those guys walking out at the end, which I think was quite ignorant on their part, even if it wasn't a surprise to me. Other than that it was a good day's work."

  • Gilbert rockets up UCI WorldTour Rankings

    Podium kisses for Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    April 18, 2011, 18:04
    Cycling News

    Cancellara still in lead after Amstel Gold Race

    Belgian Philippe Gilbert moved up into fifth place in the UCI World Rankings after his victory in the Amstel Gold Race, but lags a full 60 points behind the Spring's most consistent podium finisher Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek).

    Gilbert's win pushed Belgium into the top spot of the nations ahead of Australia and Italy, and pulled the Omega Pharma-Lotto team up four spots into eighth behind leaders RadioShack, HTC-Highroad and Rabobank.

    Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez was the biggest mover of the weekend after taking second to Gilbert in the Amstel Gold Race, up 41 places to 27th, while Simon Gerrans's third place helped move him 71 spots up into 34th.

    Cancellara leads the individual rankings after taking second in both Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo and a third place in the Tour of Flanders.

    Milan-San Remo winner Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) remained in second, 33 points behind, while Andreas Klöden (RadioShack) is in third, tied with Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD).

    The team rankings are bad news for Astana and Vacansoleil, who occupy the last two spots. The performance of each team is critical to remaining in the 18-team World Tour.

    Astana's points came primarily from Alexandre Vinokourov's performance in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, while Björn Leukemans has been the top performer for Vacansoleil.

    The UCI's World Tour continues Wednesday with La Flèche Wallonne.

    World Rankings as of April 18, 2011

    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 236  pts
    2 Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 203  
    3 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team RadioShack 202  
    4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 202  
    5 (+11) Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 176  
    6 (-1) Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 156  
    7 (-1) Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioShack 143  
    8 (-1) Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 140  
    9 (-1) Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 128  
    10 (-1) Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 114  
    11 (-1) Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 109  
    12 (-1) Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 106  
    13 (-1) Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 106  
    14 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Saxo Bank Sungard 100  
    15 (-2) Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin-Cervelo 100  
    16 (-1) Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team 100  
    17 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 92  
    18 Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) Movistar Team 90  
    19 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling 82  
    20 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling Team 80  
    21 André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto 78  
    22 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 74  
    23 Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin-Cervelo 72  
    24 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 71  
    25 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 70  
    26 Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 70  
    27 (+41) Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 67  
    28 (-1) Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek 60  
    29 (-1) Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 60  
    30 Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 60  
    31 (-2) Grégory Rast (Swi) Team RadioShack 60  
    32 (-1) Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 57  
    33 (-1) Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 52  
    34 (+71) Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling 51  
    35 (-2) Lars Ytting Bak (Den) HTC-Highroad 50  
    36 (-2) Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 50  
    37 (-2) Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team 50  
    38 (-2) Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team 46  
    39 (+4) Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 44  
    40 (-3) Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad 44  
    41 (-3) Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad 42  
    42 (+61) Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard Trek 41  
    43 (-4) Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 41  
    44 (-4) George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team 40  
    45 (-4) David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team 31  
    46 (-) Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha Team 30  
    47 (-5) Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 30  
    48 (-4) Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioShack 30  
    49 (-4) Tiago Machado (Por) Team RadioShack 30  
    50 (-4) Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Pro Team Astana 28  
    51 (+29) Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 26  
    52 (-5) Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 26  
    53 (-5) Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack 22  
    54 (-5) Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 21  
    55 (-4) Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 20  
    56 (-6) Thor Hushovd (Nor) Team Garmin-Cervelo 20  
    57 (-5) Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 15  
    58 (-5) Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 14  
    59 (-5) Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Team RadioShack 13  
    60 (-5) Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin-Cervelo 12  
    61 (-5) Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 12  
    62 (-5) Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Procycling 11  
    63 (-) Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack 10  
    64 (-6) Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 10  
    65 (-2) Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 10  
    66 (-7) Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Procycling 10  
    67 (-7) Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 10  
    68 (-7) Allan Davis (Aus) Pro Team Astana 10  
    69 (-7) Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 10  
    70 (-6) Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team 10  
    71 (-6) Juan José Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank Sungard 9  
    72 (-6) Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 8  
    73 (-4) Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Pro Team Astana 7  
    74 (-7) Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team RadioShack 7  
    75 (-4) Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 6  
    76 (-6) Gatis Smukulis (Lat) HTC-Highroad 6  
    77 (-5) Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling 5  
    78 (+11) Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team 4  
    79 (-4) Maxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard Trek 4  
    80 (-7) Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling 4  
    81 (-7) Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek 4  
    82 (-6) Thomas Löfkvist (Swe) Sky Procycling 4  
    83 (-5) Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Quickstep Cycling Team 4  
    84 (-5) Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 4  
    85 (-3) Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 4  
    86 (-9) Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Leopard Trek 4  
    87 (-6) Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha Team 4  
    88 (-5) Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard 2  
    89 (-2) Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 2  
    90 (+2) Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Katusha Team 2  
    91 (-6) Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 2  
    92 (-4) Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2  
    93 (-9) Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 2  
    94 (-8) Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISD 2  
    95 (-5) John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2  
    96 (-5) Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard 2  
    97 (-4) Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 2  
    98 (-4) Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad 2  
    99 (-4) Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2  
    100 (-4) Kenny De Haes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 2  
    101 (-4) Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 2  
    102 (+10) Jan Bakelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 1  
    103 (+1) Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1  
    104 (-6) Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 1  
    105 (-6) Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto 1  
    106 (-6) Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 1  
    107 (-6) Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 1  
    108 (-6) Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard 1  
    109 (-3) Andrew Talansky (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo 1  
    110 (-3) Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1  
    111 (-3) Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 1  
    112 (-3) Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1  
    113 (-3) Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling 1  
    114 (-3) Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 1  
    115 (-2) Frantisek Rabon (Cze) HTC-Highroad 1  
    116 (-2) Bert Grabsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad 1  
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 (+2) Belgium 560  pts
    2 Australia 558  
    3 (-2) Italy 525  
    4 Spain 432  
    5 Germany 399  
    6 Netherlands 342  
    7 Switzerland 296  
    8 United States 266  
    9 France 178  
    10 Great Britain 161  
    11 (+2) Denmark 92  
    12 (-1) Ireland 72  
    13 (-1) Colombia 57  
    14 Austria 44  
    15 Portugal 43  
    16 (+9) Russia 34  
    17 (-1) Slovenia 30  
    18 (-1) Kazakhstan 28  
    19 (-1) Norway 20  
    20 (-1) Canada 12  
    21 (-1) New Zealand 11  
    22 (-1) Belarus 10  
    23 (-1) Argentina 9  
    24 (-1) Latvia 6  
    25 (-1) Sweden 4  
    26 (+1) Luxembourg 2  
    27 (-1) Slovakia 2  
    28 Costa Rica 1  
    29 Poland 1  
    30 Czech Republic 1  
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Team RadioShack 465  pts
    2 HTC-Highroad 453  
    3 Rabobank Cycling Team 398  
    4 Team Garmin-Cervelo 358  
    5 Leopard Trek 345  
    6 BMC Racing Team 278  
    7 (+3) Sky Procycling 275  
    8 (+4) Omega Pharma-Lotto 258  
    9 (-2) Lampre - ISD 253  
    10 (-2) Movistar Team 248  
    11 (-2) Quickstep Cycling Team 234  
    12 (-1) Saxo Bank Sungard 219  
    13 Liquigas-Cannondale 168  
    14 (+2) Katusha Team 153  
    15 (-1) Euskaltel-Euskadi 111  
    16 (-1) AG2R La Mondiale 103  
    17 Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 64  
    18 Pro Team Astana 45  


  • Amstel Gold Race crash a "punch in the stomach" for Fränk Schleck

    Frank Schleck will target the Tour and the Classics
    Article published:
    April 18, 2011, 19:35
    Daniel Simms

    Luxembourg champion fell with Cancellara

    Fränk Schleck’s (Leopard Trek) hopes of victory at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday were ruined when he crashed along with his teammate Fabian Cancellara. The Luxembourg champion was directly behind Cancellara when he came down, and Schleck was unable to avoid riding into him.

    Although Schleck was deeply disappointed to miss out on the chance to form an attacking tandem with his brother Andy in the finale, he was quick to absolve Cancellara of any blame.

    “Let’s face it, he’s the best bike handler we’ve ever seen, he crashes once every five years,” Schleck said afterward. “Today I was on his wheel because you can trust him with your eyes closed and today he’s crashed.”

    Schleck was unsure of the precise cause of Cancellara’s crash, although it appears that a touch of wheels brought the Swiss rider down.

    “I don’t know, I was just following the big master Fabian,” Schleck said. "Normally you can trust him blind and follow him with your eyes closed. I can trust him and be confident with and everything. He actually felt sorry afterward. He just crashed in front of me. I don’t know how it happened but I just tumbled over him.”

    It was Schleck’s second crash of the afternoon, and with the pace rising at the head of the race, his chances of taking the win went up in smoke.

    “After the second time I had to change the bike and it was the key moment,” Schleck said. “Andy did a great race, Jakob [Fuglsang] did a great race but for me it was a punch in the stomach. I’ve been working really hard, I believe that I’m in really, really good shape. But after a down, there’s always an up.

    Andy’s attack

    While Fränk Schleck was removed from contention by the crash, his younger brother Andy went on the attack in the final stages, hitting out over the top of the Keutenberg with 13km to go, and surviving until the final haul up the Cauberg.

    The brothers had planned a dual offensive from further out, however, and in the confusion following his Fränk’s crash, Andy Schleck delayed his effort.

    “We wanted to go in the Eyserbosweg or even the climb before the Keutenberg and put on the pressure there,” Fränk Schleck explained. “Andy and myself would have gone on the Eyserbosweg. As far as I know, Andy went later as he didn’t know what was going on. In those key moments, everything changes.”

    Andy was eventually reeled in by winner Philippe Gilbert and his Omega Pharma-Lotto squad on the short, sharp climb to the finish on the Cauberg. While Fränk Schleck applauded Gilbert’s victory, he warned that the Belgian’s domination of the Ardennes Classics was not a foregone conclusion.

    “He also won last year here, but he didn’t win Flèche and he didn’t win Liège. We’ll see what happens [this year],” Schleck said. “I have to admit that he raced very cleverly. He left Andy out there. Maybe he could have taken him back earlier but he left him out there and he was confident about his sprint, so hats off to him."

  • Santini signs three-year deal with GreenEdge

    Shayne Bannan posses in front of the Greenedge Cycling van.
    Article published:
    April 19, 2011, 01:33
    Cycling News

    Italian clothing manufacturer to provide Australian team kit

    GreenEdge Cycling has announced that Italian manufacturer, Santini, will clothe the Australian team for three years, continuing the partnership with Australian cycling that dates back to 2003.

    But as much as the partnership with Santini is a coup for GreenEdge, it's further endorsement of the progress that has been made by Australian cyclists.

    Pietro Santini, the owner and founder of Santini, says, "We have witnessed with incredible admiration the work that Australia has done in cycling."

    "In the past 10-to-15 years Australia has produced many incredible athletes and many more young riders that have the talent to be real champions.

    "For a good part of these years we have partnered Australian cycling through the national team and we know what they can achieve and we've found the same focus, dedication and commitment in the GreenEdge team."

    For Shayne Bannan, GreenEdge General Manager, the quality of the clothes Santini will supply to the team is the key to the partnership.

    "Our riders can spend more than seven hours in their cycling apparel in the big races so being comfortable is critical," he said.

    "Santini has spent 45-years making cycling clothing for professional teams all over the world but continue to invest heavily in research and development, which will ensure our riders have the best clothing in the peloton.

    "Another important consideration for us is that Santini is made in Italy. With our base in Varese, Italy, this gives us great flexibility to work with them in order to meet our needs to develop the right garments."

    This announcement comes just weeks after GreenEdge confirmed a multi-million dollar, three-year; deal with high performance bicycle and accessories brand Scott Sports.

    According to Santini, the rationale behind this foreign support of GreenEdge cycling is because of the team's global appeal.

    "Although we're an Italian company our products are sold everywhere in the world. Our image and our vision are international and we need an international team to act as a vessel to communicate our values," Santini said.

    If successful in its bid to join the UCI WorldTour, GreenEdge will mark history by becoming the first Australian team to do so.


  • Menchov will lead Geox-TMC at Giro D'Italia

    Carlos Sastre talks about his chances for the Giro.
    Article published:
    April 19, 2011, 02:49
    Cycling News

    Sastre happy to support Russian

    Carlos Sastre (Geox-TMC) says he is happy to support Russian teammate Denis Menchov at the Giro d’Italia, with the Spaniard conceding that his form is currently far from perfect.

    The Spaniard finished his last race, the Vuelta Castilla y Leon, in 52nd place overall and will be unlikely to hit top form in time for the Italian Grand Tour. A less than ideal lead-in to the Italian Grand Tour has hampered his preparations, but the former Tour de France winner remains optimistic.

    "Every day I am felling a little better. Obviously my preparation has been delayed but I will be ready for the Giro," he said from his home in Avila.

    "I want to arrive at the Giro with as good condition as possible to help Denis Menchov do his best there", he added, knowing he still has two weeks to hone his form before the May 7 roll out.

    "I know that Denis has had good preparation and will be ready to race at the Giro so I can be calmer and more focused in my [own] preparation."

    The Spaniard was also happy with the way the team as a whole is riding despite its youth. Sastre is one of the elder statesman of the team who, along with Menchov, will be looked on to steel his teammates for their first Grand Tour.

    Geox-TMC’s team for the Italian tour will be decided this week at the Giro del Trentino a race which will provide the last chance for team members to stake their claim for a place in the Grand Tour team.

    "The Giro del Trentino is a very important race for our team," sports director Stefano Zanini explained.

    "The race will give us key information to finalise the list of riders who will ride with Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre at the Giro."

    The Giro Del Trentino starts on Wednesday.


  • Boogerd wins Stars Dancing on Ice

    Boogerd in action on the ice
    Article published:
    April 19, 2011, 03:23
    Cycling News

    Winning reality tv show not like winning a big race

    Two-time stage winner of the Tour de France, Michael Boogerd says that while it is exciting to win Dutch television program Stars Dancing on Ice, it doesn't compare to prevailing on the bike.

    "I really feel a victory, but it can not come close to winning a big race as a cyclist," Boogerd said. "You get paid for something, but that is not the same as cycling."

    The 38-year-old won series four of the program, titled 'Sterren Dansen op het Ijs' with skating partner Darya Nucci. The pair attracted 50.3% of the public vote in the finale.

    The former Dutch National champion is now set to perform in Holiday on Ice where he said he was looking forward to showing his skills in Holland. "It sounds like great fun to do," Boogerd enthused.

    Boogerd retired from professional cycling in 2007.


  • Viviani back to the scene of his debut pro win

    Elia Viviani (Liquigas) won stage 7 of the Tour of Turkey.
    Article published:
    April 19, 2011, 03:59
    Cycling News

    Liquigas-Cannondale announces team for Presidential Tour of Turkey

    Elia Viviani is hoping to match top-line sprinters Tyler Farrar, Andre Greipel, Alessandro Petacchi, Allan Davis and Andrea Guardini at the Presidential Tour of Turkey, which starts this Sunday running until May 1st.

    The 2010 edition of the Turkish event was the scene of Viviani's first win as a professional road cyclist. He won stage 7 to Antalya and gave an indication that he can be as successful on the road as on the track where he was already a multiple Italian and European champion.

    "I had the best pro debut I could have expected", Viviani remembers. "We came with a young team. Everyone was allowed to try his luck and win a stage. I competed in two bunch sprints before I understood how it worked. With more experience, I won stage 7. I was lucky but my timing was also right. I was the right man at the right position entering the final curves. There was a controversy with Giovanni Visconti, so it ruined my satisfaction of winning the stage, but once he apologized, everything was ok."

    Viviani is quite talkative when discussions come to his first participation to the Presidential Tour of Turkey. "I have found memories of that race", he said. "The course was wonderful, the landscapes were beautiful and the organisation was perfect. I suffered on my bike but my desire to do well and my excitement of beginning my pro career on the road were stronger than my fatigue. For ever, it's in Turkey that I won my first pro race, so it remains amazing in my mind."

    It's no surprise that Viviani put his hands up to return to Turkey for the second year in a row. In the meantime, he has improved a lot. He began the 2011 road season with two victories: one in Mumbai, India, and the Italian opening race GP Etruschi. He also claimed the silver medal in the scratch race at the track world championships in Appeldoorn, the Netherlands, at the end of March qualifying him for the Olympic Games in London next year.

    "After a very intense beginning of the year, I've had a bit of a break, so I might suffer a little bit in the first stages of the Tour of Turkey", the 22 year-old warned. "It doesn't matter because we come to Istanbul with another sprinter, Jacopo Guarnieri, so I'll help him until I find the right condition for trying to win a stage again. I approach this race with no pressure but the ambition to repeat the success I got last year. I think it'll be a very interesting race again. There are eight long stages that suit my characteristics. I'm really glad to see the Presidential Tour of Turkey becoming always more prestigious, year after year, with great champions and world tour teams participating. This time I'm sure we will have some fun again."

    The Liquigas-Cannondale team for the Presidential Tour of Turkey: Francesco Belloti, Timothy Duggan, Jacopo Guarnieri, Cameron Wurf, Juraj Sagan, Elia Viviani