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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Date published:
August 10, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Riders excited after preview of 2011 worlds course

    Hayden Roulston (Team HTC - Columbia) finishes ahead of the pack in Denmark
    Article published:
    August 10, 2010, 5:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Small bunch sprint tipped for Denmark race

    Riders from the professional peloton are already looking forward to next year’s UCI Road World Championships after getting a preview of the course for the event at last week’s Tour of Denmark. Hayden Roulston, who won the race’s final stage that included four laps of the world championship circuit, led the chorus of riders who expect a small bunch sprint to prevail next year.

    "It's a fantastic route, very different from Zolder," Roulston told "I don't believe it'll be a mass sprint, but perhaps a sprint in a medium size group."

    Roulston held the peloton at bay on the finishing circuit, crossing the line just two seconds ahead of a 54-strong chase group. It was a similar scenario to that which the riders expect next year.

    "It won't be a sprinter like Alessandro Petacchi or a climber like Damiano Cunego who'll take the gold medal here,” said Jens Voigt. “The route favours types like Cancellara or Breschel who both have the necessary power for a finish like this."

    Tour of Denmark winner Jakob Fuglsang expects the circuit to be suited to a rider like his current teammate Matti Breschel. "This route is great. It opens up the possibility for anything but a mass sprint. It's a perfect match for Matti Breschel."

    Rudersdal mayor Erik Fabrin was pleased with the dry run the course got during this year’s tour, despite the wet conditions. "We are very satisfied and it's an incredible amount of spectators considering today’s weather. We can learn a lot from today’s stage in preparation for the world championships next year," said Fabrin.

  • Junior champion Le Gac overwhelmed by homecoming

    Olivier Le Gac (France) shows off his gold medal
    Article published:
    August 10, 2010, 5:38 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Third Breton to win in nine years recently quit football

    Olivier Le Gac couldn’t believe his eyes when hundreds of people waited for him at Brest’s airport in France Monday to honour the new UCI Junior Road World Champion. The Frenchman was a football player just 12 months ago and is yet to turn 17, but was crowned as cycling’s newest champion in Italy on Sunday.

    “I didn’t expect to see so many people,” said an emotional Le Gac. “I’m happy to see all these smiles, it’s super. When I saw them I really wanted to cry. I already cried after the race, but they were warm tears. I went to the world championship to deliver a result but honestly I didn’t think I’d become the world champion.”

    It was Le Gac’s ability to keep a cool head that secured him the victory. He attacked the breakaway group with seven kilometres remaining and stayed calm when he suffered a gear shifting problem 800 metres away from the finish line.

    “Olivier doesn’t know what stress is,” said his father Denis, who still races locally at the age of 49. His elder brothers Laurent and Sylvain are also competitive cyclists in Brittany, but Olivier only took up cycling recently. Last year he was still playing football at the Plabennec club, whose senior team plays in the third French professional league. “I definitely prefer cycling,” he said.

    Le Gac was also a provincial champion for cross-country running twice. Despite being a first year junior Le Gac has won many bike races this year, including criteriums against elite riders, French national junior races, the French team pursuit national championship and the GP Patton in Luxemburg. That success meant his name was mentioned as an outside chance for the world championship in Offida, Italy.

    While French cycling has struggled in recent years at a professional level, Le Gac’s title comes only 10 months after Romain Sicard’s triumph in the U23 World...

  • Sinkewitz successful in Portugal

    Patrik Sinkewitz has signed with the Professional Continental team ISD-Neri.
    Article published:
    August 10, 2010, 9:05 BST
    Cycling News

    German aiming at stage win despite good GC placing

    Patrik Sinkewitz (ISD-Neri) is currently racing the Tour of Portugal, where he is lying in fourth place overall, 59 seconds adrift of race leader David Blanco (Palmeiras Resort-Tavira). After a rest day on Monday, there are five stages yet to race before the event finishes in Lisbon on Sunday, and the German team leader is motivated to try for a stage victory.

    "But I know it will be difficult," Sinkewitz told Radsport-News. "Because of my good placing on the overall I probably won't be able to get into a break. And when there is an uphill finale, the Portuguese and Spanish riders here are extremely strong. It's the most important race in the season for the Portuguese."

    The former T-Mobile rider, who won a stage in the Tour of Portugal last year, also wants to maintain his placing in the general classification. A 32.6km-long time trial on the penultimate day should help him. "The next few days will be tough. Amongst other difficulties, there is one mountain top finish where the road will rise for 28 kilometres. If I can hold on there, I will be able to take some time on my rivals in the time trial," he added.

    Sinkewitz's team had planned for him to drop out of the race sometime this week in order to prepare for Italian one-day races like the Tre Valli Varesine, but now he will continue to the end. "My build-up was intended to make me competitive here in Portugal," said the 29-year-old. "I will ride as conservatively as possible and see what comes around. I'm under no pressure."

    Sinkewitz was fired by the T-Mobile Team in 2007 after testing positive for testosterone. He received a one-year suspension after co-operating with authorities and giving detailed confessions. He made his come-back to racing with PSK Whirlpool-Author in 2009.

  • Gadret looking to perfom at Tour de l'Ain

    John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    August 10, 2010, 10:37 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman targets Grand Colombier stage

    John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) takes to the start of the Tour de l’Ain in Ambérieu-en-Bugey this evening as one of the main candidates for overall victory.

    The Frenchman took a stage and the general classification in 2007 and followed that up with another stage victory in 2008. This time around he is hoping to capitalise on the form he built at the Tour de France to make a strong impression at the race.

    In particular, Gadret will be looking to the final two stages in the Jura as an opportunity to stake his claim for overall honours. “I’m waiting for Friday and Saturday,” he told L’Équipe. “The Grand Colombier suits me really well. The slopes are really steep right from the bottom.” The hors catégorie climb features on the final stage, before a rapid descent to Belley.

    Before that, Gadret must get through some flatter terrain, including this evening’s brief prologue. “It’s bizarre that they’ve put in a prologue, but as it’s only three kilometres, the gaps won’t be too big,” he said.

    Gadret arrives at this year’s Tour de l’Ain on the back of being the highest-placed Frenchman at the Tour de France, finishing in 19th position in Paris. Public reaction to his performance illustrated the importance of the Tour in his country.

    “After the Tour, I went to a campsite on the Côte d’Azur with my family and people recognised me,” Gadret explained. “That surprised me. I didn’t attach any importance to my placing. Nineteenth is a long way outside the top ten, but clearly, it means something to the French.”

    After finishing a strong 13th at the Giro d’Italia, Gadret was ultimately under-whelmed by his experience in July. “I was disappointed not to win a stage,” he admitted. “I could do nothing more than follow, I was never able to...

  • Doubts persist over Xacobeo’s future

    The Xacobeo Galicia squad for 2010.
    Article published:
    August 10, 2010, 11:07 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Team boss Pino wants future clarified before Vuelta starts

    Xacobeo-Galicia boss Álvaro Pino has admitted he would like his team’s long-term future to be clarified before they line up for the start of the Vuelta a España on the last weekend in August. “As far as we have been made aware, we believe that the team will continue in the international peloton next season. But no one has yet confirmed that with us,” Pino told the Faro de Vigo.

    Earlier in the year there were persistent rumours that the team based in Spain’s north-western region of Galicia would fold at the end of this season, but in recent weeks Pino has been given reason for greater optimism. However, he believes it is in the team’s and his riders’ best interests if clarification is given before the start of the Vuelta, which is their main objective of the season.

    “The team needs to know as soon as possible where its future lies so that the riders can focus on the Vuelta and not be distracted by thoughts about their future,” said Pino. Formed in 2006 under the Karpin-Galicia name, the squad has been backed by Galicia’s regional government, but a change in that government has led to uncertainty over the team’s future.

    Pino revealed that Galicia’s secretary-general for sport, José Ramón Lete, was at the recent Tour of Burgos and witnessed Xacobeo team leader Ezequiel Mosquera’s close-run battle with Euskaltel’s Samuel Sánchez for the overall title. “Lete didn’t tell us anything,” Pino confessed. “We hope that we will be continuing into next season because we deserve to for all kinds of reasons.”

    Pino added that “the most important thing now is not knowing what the budget is going to be, but simply knowing that the team is going to stay in the pro peloton. The Xacobeo team is a reference point for many youngsters in Galicia and the work that we are doing in bringing on young...

  • Gila jumps to the UCI ranks in 2011

    Elite men's overall Tour of Gila podium: Tom Danielson (DZ Nuts), Levi Leipheimer (Mellow Johnny's), Phillip Zajicek (Fly V Australia)
    Article published:
    August 10, 2010, 15:42 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Organizers on the hunt for additional funding

    The 25th annual Tour of the Gila has found a place on USA Cycling’s tentative list of International Cycling Union (UCI) sanctioned events scheduled in 2011. According to race director Jack Brennan the event will likely run from April 27 to May 1 in the high deserts of Silver City, New Mexico, acting as a valuable precursor to the Tour of California held two weeks later.

    “Right after this year’s race we started working on what we would need to do to be part of the UCI,” Brennan said. “The first thing I did was call USA Cycling’s Micah Rice and asked him if he felt that our race was of the quality to be UCI and he said yes. Secondly I asked if our organization was worthy of pulling off a UCI race and he said yes. We will have the Tour of the Gila ending early May and the riders can go straight into the Tour of California. We will get some tremendous exposure for US racing for three weeks. We all win, wouldn’t that be cool?”

    Brennan and his colleague Michelle Geels sent in the necessary paper work to obtain UCI sanctioning to USA Cycling on May 21. They requested a primary date that would end the race on May 1 and a secondary date of ending the race on May 8. USA Cycling forwarded a tentative schedule of events to the UCI, as per its deadline on June 1. Brennan expects to receive a response from the UCI regarding his date selection in early September.

    “We’ve worked on making sure the dates were good,” Brennan said. “We spoke with Micah who spoke with Sean Petty and we contacted a number of teams regarding which dates would be better. The consensus was to end our race two weeks before the Tour of California which is scheduled to start on May 15 so that was our first priority date. I suspect we will get that. If we can pull everything off well it will be a five-day stage race. We have talked about expanding one extra day. We will see how it goes.”


  • Nibali builds towards Vuelta

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) soloed to victory in the Tour of Slovenia's queen stage.
    Article published:
    August 10, 2010, 17:00 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Worlds also on Sicilian’s horizon

    Fresh from a solid third place at the Vuelta a Burgos, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) is steadily working towards his major objective of the second half of the season, the Vuelta a España.

    "I want to ride as strongly there as I did at the Giro, but I won't say any more than that out of superstition," Nibali told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I'll ride as leader, with the same attitude as ever but with greater responsibility. I'd like to leave my mark in Spain."

    Nibali has clearly grown in confidence this season and he credits his podium finish at the Giro d'Italia for this transformation. "It gave me a lot of belief," he said. "It was my revenge on those people who didn't believe in me in the past. And there were a lot of them."

    Before returning to the Iberian peninsula, Nibali will ride three races on Italian roads, the Coppa Agostoni, Tre Valli Varesine and the Trofeo Melinda. As well as building condition for the Vuelta, he hopes to avail of the opportunity to force his way into Paolo Bettini's plans for the Italian team at the World Championships.

    "I haven't had the chance to speak with Bettini yet, but it will happen during the next races. He knows me well. He'll explain the route to me and tell me what he has in mind. Then it'll be down to me to ride well," Nibali said.

    "[Late Italian manager Franco] Ballerini had been in Melbourne and spoke of a route that wasn't as easy as it seemed, and I think Bettini has the same idea."

    Nibali believes that his display at the Giro in support of Ivan Basso demonstrates his capacity to ride for a leader, as he would be required to do in Melbourne. He also noted that Basso might not have enjoyed such support had Franco Pellizotti ridden the Giro as planned. Pellizotti showed irregularities in his biological passport before the race and was pulled from the Liquigas line-up and replaced by Nibali.

    "Between Basso and me there's a different rapport than between...