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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Date published:
April 19, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • 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, 16:04 BST
    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,...

  • Teams walk out of UCI meeting over race radio ban

    Article published:
    April 18, 2011, 16:09 BST
    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...

  • Gilbert rockets up UCI WorldTour Rankings

    Podium kisses for Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    April 18, 2011, 19:04 BST
    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

  • 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, 20:35 BST
    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.

  • Santini signs three-year deal with GreenEdge

    Shayne Bannan posses in front of the Greenedge Cycling van.
    Article published:
    April 19, 2011, 2:33 BST
    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...

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

    Carlos Sastre talks about his chances for the Giro.
    Article published:
    April 19, 2011, 3:49 BST
    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...

  • Boogerd wins Stars Dancing on Ice

    Boogerd in action on the ice
    Article published:
    April 19, 2011, 4:23 BST
    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, 4:59 BST
    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...