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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Date published:
August 17, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Armitstead wins in Route de France and takes aim at Worlds

    Young rider competition winner Elizabeth Armitstead (Cervelo TestTeam) wins the final stage of the Route de France 2010 ahead of Giorgia Bronzini (Gauss RDZ Ormu) and Annemiek Van Vleuten (Nederland Bloeit).
    Article published:
    August 16, 2010, 11:23 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Cervelo TestTeam rider builds up for Worlds

    Lizzie Armitstead capped off a fine week of racing at the Route de France with a stunning stage win but the Cervelo TestTeam star already has her sights set on her next set of objectives, as she builds up for the Commonwealth Games and World Championships.

    Armitstead, a vocal supporter of clean cycling and a Bike Pure advocate, won the final stage of the French stage race with a strong sprint finish but her form also won her the white jersey as the best young rider, as she finished every stage in the top ten.

    “I was just riding consistently,” she told Cyclingnews. “It was a good race for me. It wasn’t too mountainous but there were a few hard days and the terrain suited me and the team, even if there were only four of us in the end. The last day just went well for me in the sprint.”
    Armitstead’s season was based on two blocks of racing, the first starting in Qatar in February, before peaking for the track World Championships and the UK road nationals. Two silvers on the track and one on the road were followed by a break in July. Now back to form, she will aim to peak again for the Commonwealth Games and Worlds where she’ll compete in the road race in both events.

    Despite her recent win, she isn’t getting too carried away with her current form.

    “It all means I’m heading in the right direction. The start of the season was a learning curve for me and I played quite a lot of supporting roles and then had my break with the aim of building my form for the Worlds.”

    “I don’t feel particularly fast at the moment even though the results suggest that I am. The feelings aren’t top form and there’s still a way to go. I’ve never got it right at the Worlds before but we’ll see how it goes.”

    Her season won’t stop there. After the Worlds in September, Armitstead will have turn her attention back to the...

  • Schumacher signs for Miche

    Stefan Schumacher (R) and lawyer Michael Lehner after the first CAS hearing for his positive in the Olympics in July, 2009.
    Article published:
    August 16, 2010, 12:23 BST
    Barry Ryan

    German ends suspension at Giro del Veneto

    Stefan Schumacher has signed a contract with the Miche team and will make his comeback to racing at the Giro del Veneto on August 28. The German rider was suspended for two years after testing positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France. It is understood that his contract with Miche will run until the end of the season, with the option of an extension for 2011.

    “I’m just interested in getting back to racing,” Schumacher said. “I must get back up to the speed of racing as quickly as possible and I want to show myself in the races that will take place in Autumn, for myself and to thank the people who still believe in me."

    Schumacher was targeted for testing for CERA by the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) at the 2008 Tour de France. He had previously returned a positive test for norpseudoephedrine in 2005 but was subsequently cleared of wrongdoing by the German federation, while in 2007 traces of amphetamine were discovered in a blood sample he gave to German police after a car accident.

    Schumacher has maintained his innocence throughout his suspension and last month refused to discuss his past in an interview with German news agency Sid, saying “I won’t address that theme anymore.”

    Michael Rasmussen rode for the Miche team earlier in the season until his contract was terminated by mutual agreement in mid-April. The Dane had himself recently returned to racing after a two-year suspension.

  • Carlos Sastre signs for Geox

    Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    August 16, 2010, 13:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Former Tour de France winner joins new cycling team

    2008 Tour de France winner, Carlos Sastre, has announced that he will leave Cervelo TestTeam at the end of the season in order to join Team Geox for 2011. The Italian shoe manufacturer has taken over the sponsorship of the Footon-Servetto outfit and Sastre is their first major signing.

    “The trust that they‘ve placed in me since the very first conversation has been the most important factor that has pushed me towards this new project, but the background and experience of its leaders has also had an influence as they’ve been in cycling for years and years", said the Spaniard.

    “At the moment, I’m enjoying riding more than ever as I’ve rediscovered the fighting cyclist that’s always been inside me. This new challenge is exciting and it will provide me with what I’ve been fighting for all my life”, he added.

    “We met each other and signed a contract in just two days," said Team Geox's General Manager Mauro Gianetti.

    "It was enough to explain him the guidelines of the project from Geox and we instantly had a good feeling. All of us have got to know his extraordinary results, but the main reasons were his ambition and big professionalism. I'm confident that Sastre will be able to find new motivation in this new squad. We chose him not only because of his big palmarès, but also because of the focus he's setting on the upcoming years."

    Sastre signed for Cervelo in 2008, just after his Tour de France triumph at CSC. His win was a surprise to many but his stage winning performance on the Alpe d’Huez and a strong final time trial were two outstanding performances that carried him to yellow.

    In 2009 he finished third in the Giro d’Italia, winning two stages along the way. However his Tour was a disaster and he struggled to compete for the yellow jersey, eventually finishing in 17th position.

    His 2010 season has been a disappointment to date....

  • Vacansoleil not giving up on Riccò

    Riccardo Riccò (Ceramica Flaminia) signs on for his first race since serving a two-year ban for doping
    Article published:
    August 16, 2010, 13:29 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian's move to Quick Step remains unconfirmed

    Vacansoleil have still not given up hope of signing Riccardo Riccò, according to Riccò told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday that he would complete the 2010 season for Patrick Lefevere’s team after exiting Ceramica Flaminia, but his signing not yet been confirmed.

    One of the factors complicating his passage to Quick Step is the fact that his arrival would come too late to allow him to compete in the Vuelta a España, as the teams’ lists of pre-selected riders have already been submitted to organisers Unipublic. Meanwhile speculates that Riccò’s personal endorsement deal with shoe supplier Vittoria, which runs until the end of 2011, may also be a stumbling block for the process, due to rival manufacturer Sidi’s partnership with the Belgian team. reports that Vacansoleil management were approached by Riccò’s agent last week and offered the chance to sign him. It is understood that Vacansoleil manager Daan Luijkx will speak with Riccò during the week in a bid to add him to their line-up.

    Vacansoleil failed to gain an invitation for any of this season’s grand tours, but would be confident of the possibility of a Giro d’Italia invitation in 2011 were they to sign the controversial Italian.


  • Kluge signs for Skil-Shimano

    Roger Kluge got his professional career started at Milram.
    Article published:
    August 16, 2010, 15:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch team confirm arrival of track star

    Skil-Shimano have confirmed the signing of Roger Kluge from Milram for the 2011 season. As reported by Cyclingnews last week, the German had been strongly linked with a move to the team.

    Kluge turned professional this season and made an instant impact. The 24-year-old took victory at the Neuseen Classic, 4th overall the Tour of Qatar and 5th at the German championship in June. He also made his Tour de France debut this season, acting as Gerard Ciolek’s lead-out man until a broken hand sustained in a crash forced him to abandon. That injury may well compromise the rest of his season, but Skil-Shimano are pleased to welcome a man that they describe as “a speedy rider who wears the mantle of power sprinter well” for the beginning of next season.

    Before his debut season with Milram, Kluge made his name on the track, taking silver in the points race at the Beijing Olympics and gold in the Madison at last year’s European Championships. It is understood that as well as riding on the road for Skil-Shimano, Kluge will work towards participating in the omnium at 2012 Olympics in London.

  • Vroomen praises Sastre's contribution to Cervelo

    Gerard Vroomen, Cervelo co-founder.
    Article published:
    August 16, 2010, 16:17 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Cervelo co-founder says team did not offer him new contract

    Cervelo co-founder Gerard Vroomen has confirmed to Cyclingnews that the Cervelo TestTeam never in fact offered Carlos Sastre a contract for the coming season. The 35-year-old signed a two-year deal with Cervelo in 2009 and with no offer forthcoming and his deal about to expire, announced that he had signed a deal with Team Geox for 2011.

    “We’d had discussions with him about what would be best for the future for him but we’d not offered him a contract,” Vroomen told Cyclingnews from Toronto.

    “We gave him all the freedom to chat with other teams like Geox, so there’s no surprise from our side and there are no hard feelings. We were aware that there was a negotiation going on and Carlos was at the end of his contract.”

    Vroomen was full of praise for the Spaniard, who will still lead the team at the Vuelta later this month. It will be his third grand tour this year.

    “He’s been an ambassador for us for eight years and I’m happy that he’s been able to find a good contract out there in the market.”

    Sastre has had a mixed two years with the team. While he has been at the forefront of their competitiveness in stage races, he has never rediscovered the form that helped him win the Tour de France in 2008. There have been the odd flashes of brilliance – two stages and third overall at the 2009 Giro – but his two Tours with Cervelo both ended in disappointment.

    Vroomen decided to dwell on the positive though and wished Sastre all the best. “It’s been a good and interesting two years and everyone has learnt quite a bit and I think frankly if he can infuse his new team with something positive that would be a good thing for cycling.”

    Vroomen pointed to last year’s Giro as the highlight of their partnership together. However, instead of singling out Sastre’s results in the race, he chose to...

  • Kreuziger signs with Astana

    Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas Doimo) leads the escape group in La Fleche Wallonne.
    Article published:
    August 16, 2010, 18:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Liquigas lets go of Czech promise

    After five seasons with Liquigas, Czech Roman Kreuziger will leave the team with which he began his professional career and head to the Astana team of Alexander Vinokourov.

    Kreuziger, 24, turned heads in 2008 when he placed second in the Tour de Romandie and then went on to win the Tour de Suisse one month later. His break-out season also included a 12th place overall in the Tour de France.

    The following season, he won Tour de Romandie and took 9th overall in the Tour.

    This season, Kreuziger won the Giro di Sardegna, placed third overall in Paris-Nice, 5th in the Amstel Gold Race and 9th overall in the Tour de France.

    Vinokourov welcomed his new Czech teammate in a press release, stating, "I am pleased that the team has reached an agreement with Roman Kreuziger, we are currently finalizing contracts to submit very soon a new roster for next season that represent with power and pride the colors of Kazakhstan."

  • Rabobank replaces Brown in Eneco roster

    Graeme Brown (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 1:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian sprinter replaced by Leezer

    Rabobank has announced it will replace Graeme Brown in its roster for the Eneco Tour as the Australian sprinter isn’t in good shape. Brown’s place in the eight-man squad will be filled by Dutch rider Thomas Leezer.

    The 24-year-old demonstrated his form at the weekend’s Vattenfall Cyclassics, where he finished seventh in the final sprint won by Garmin-Transitions’ Tyler Farrar. The result in Germany was Leezer’s best of the season to date and he’ll be looking to capitalize on that form at this week’s Dutch/Belgian ProTour event.

    “Leezer is currently in good shape and not Brown,” read an announcement from the squad. “The team management wants to give the young athlete a chance to display his good form, this time in a major stage race.”

    While Brown’s best finish at the recent Tour de Pologne was ninth on the event’s third stage, it hasn’t been all bad news for the rider in recent months. The 31-year-old claimed his first European victory of the season at last month’s Österreich-Rundfahrt, where he out-paced Robert Förster and André Greipel to win the eighth stage in Wien, Austria.