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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Date published:
August 24, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Van den Broeck says no to Worlds

    Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 9:05 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Belgian prefers to concentrate on Italian autumn races

    Jurgen Van den Broeck will not take part in the World Championships in Melbourne. He decided not to be part of the Belgian team, saying he has lost the good form that secured him fifth overall at the Tour de France.

    “I fully realised that the good form form the Tour has gone,” he said, according to “I wouldn't be able to play a significant role in helping Philippe Gilbert. It would be better if someone else went to Australia.”

    The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider is currently riding the Eneco Tour but is not an overall contender. When the race ends on Tuesday, he go to Tenerife for a week “to recharge my batteries.” He will then use the Italian one-day races to prepared for the Tour of Lombardy, “where I want to do well. Because of the jet lag, the combination of World Championships and the Italian autumn races is just not possible."

    Philippe Gilbert is expected to lead the Belgian team at the world championships after missing the Tour de France so he could peak in September. Stijn Devolder, the current time trial and road race Belgian champion, will target both events in Australia.

  • Bjarne Riis not worried about changes at Saxo Bank

    Bjarne Riis busied himself with the press on the rest day in Pau.
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 13:31 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Contador's arrival and the Schlecks departure sparks overhaul of Danish team

    Bjarne Riis is losing a number of key riders at the end of season and has already lost a directeur sportif, but the Dane is not worried about all the changes. Indeed, the Saxo Bank boss says that his phone is ringing off the hook with people eager to work for him.

    Andy and Fränk Schleck are leading the exodus from the team, joining directeur sportif Kim Andersen at the new Luxembourg team managed by former press officer Brian Nygaard. Torsten Schmidt is also said to be joining that team as a directuer sportif, along with promising Danish stage racer Jakob Fuglsang. Matti Breschel has already signed with Rabobank. Veterans such as Stuart O'Grady and Jens Voigt have also been linked to the new Luxembourg team.

    Riis still will have two super star riders to lead Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2011. Fabian Cancellara is under contract with Riis for 2011and new signing Alberto Contador has signed a two-year contract. Contador will also bring domestiques Benjamin Noval, Daniel Navarro and Jesus Hernandez on board.

    Riis told that more riders and staff will be named soon. “Things are under control. We are working on it at present and in the near future we will begin to put some more names out there,” he said.

    Riis called the massive changes a natural occurrence and said that the team had employees both coming and going. “I am receiving many calls” from people who want to join the team, he said.

  • Vos seals third World Cup win

    The 2010 World Cup Champion Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit)
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 14:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Contador continues to lead UCI World Rankings after GP Plouay

    Marianne Vos claimed the third UCI Women's World Cup title of her career at the GP Plouay de Bretagne on Saturday. The 23-year-old Dutch rider took second place behind solo winner Emma Pooley in Plouay to secure the overall victory win after leading the competition since the first race in March.

    "I've worried all year about keeping the jersey and I'm relieved now," Vos said. She went into the final race with an 18-point lead over Cervelo's Kirsten Wild, who did not ride in Plouay and 46 points over Swede Emma Johansson.

    Once Vos made the final escape with Johansson, eventual winner Pooley and HTC-Columbia's Judith Arndt, her title was secure. "I was focused on the World Cup classification. However, I wanted to win the race too. When Emma Pooley attacked on the second climb of the circuit, I could just hold her wheel but when she went in the last hill, I had to let her go. She was too strong."

    Vos' first World Cup victory in 2007 was won on the final race of the season, the Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt, when she won the race in a bunch sprint, taking the jersey from Briton Nicole Cooke. Her second came last year when she beat Johansson by 21points.

    The UCI also confirmed the latest men's World Rankings on Monday after the GP Ouest France - Plouay. The ranking remained largely unchanged. Tour de France champion Alberto Contador continues to lead the standings over Joaquin Rodriguez and Cadel Evans. Vattenfall Cyclassics winner Tyler Farrar moved into the top 10 after taking second in the GP Plouay, slotting in eighth place behind Andy Schleck.

    Matthew Goss' victory in the GP Plouay moved him from 98th to 37th overall.

    Women's 2010 UCI World Cup final standings

  • Cervélo TestTeam and Footon-Servetto confirm teams for Vuelta a España

    Carlos Sastre (Cervelo)
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 15:09 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Sastre and Hushovd lead experienced Cervélo squad

    Cervélo TestTeam and Footon-Servetto  have confirmed their nine-rider teams for the Vuelta a España that begins in Seville on Saturday.

    Cervélo TestTeam has named an experienced team to support Carlos Sastre and Thor Hushovd, while Footon-Servetto has gone for a youthful team with an average of just 26.

    Hushovd will look for stage victories for Cervélo TestTeam as he builds up for the world championships, while Sastre is targeting a place on the podium in his last Grand Tour with the team before moving to Geox. Also in the Cervélo TestTeam line-up are Dutch sprinter Theo Bos and Ireland’s Philip Deignan, who won a stage and finished ninth overall in last year’s Vuelta.

    The Footon-Servetto riders will look for stage victories, with Rafael Valls, Giampaolo Cheula, Martin Pedersen, Manuel Cardoso and David Vitoria. Valls impressed in the Tour de France, while Cardoso won stage three at the Tour Down Under.

    Cervélo TestTeam for the Vuelta a España:

    Theo Bos
    Iñigo Cuesta
    Philip Deignan
    Stefan Denifl
    Xavier Florencio
    Thor Hushovd
    Oscar Pujol
    Xavier Tondo
    Carlos Sastre
    Reserve: Roger Hammond


    Rafael Valls
    Manuel Cardoso
    Alberto Benítez
    Arkaitz Durán
    David Gutiérrez Gutiérrez
    Enrique Mata
    Giampaolo Cheula
    Martin Pedersen
    David Vitoria

  • Taaramäe out of Vuelta a España

    The Estonian Rein Taaramae (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne)
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 16:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Cofidis not taking risk with Estonian's health

    The Cofidis team has removed Estonian Rein Taaramäe from its roster for the upcoming Vuelta a España. The 23-year-old was to be one of the team's leaders for the race, but will be replaced by Sébastien Minard.

    “Rein Taaramäe abandoned during stage 13 at the Tour de France because of an Achilles [tendon] injury,” team directeur sportif Francis Vanlondersele said. “But he was already in a state of extreme fatigue."

    Taaramäe rested, then entered the Tour du Limousin to prepare for the Spanish Grand Tour, but dropped out during Friday's fourth stage.

    "The last two stages have been very difficult for him. As he went back home to Nice, he underwent some tests. We don’t have the results yet but it’s impossible for him to ride the Vuelta. He’s young (23) and it’s out of question to take any risk with him.”

    Minard, 28, won the French semi-classic Paris-Camembert this year will join team leader David Moncoutie in the Cofidis line-up for the Vuelta a España.

  • HTC-Columbia signs Degenkolb

    Stage five winner John Degenkolb (Thüringer Energie Team) at the tour of Bretagne
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 19:21 BST
    Cycling News

    U23 German champion to US-based team

    Team HTC-Columbia has announced its first new signing for the 2011 season: German talent John Degenkolb, the reigning U23 road champion. The 21-year-old has signed with the US-based team for two years.

    Degenkolb has ridden with the Continental-ranked Thüringer Energie Team since his first professional season in 2008. This year he has seven victories in addition to his national title. He won two stages at both the Tour de Bretagne and the FDB Insurance Ras. He won the third stage of the Thüringen Rundfahrt and went on to take the overall title. Most recently he won the third stage of the Tour Alsace.

    “I am very much looking forward to the next two years with HTC-Columbia and the upcoming tasks,” he said in a press release. “I have the feeling that I have the best conditions here to continue developing as a cyclist. I will use my chance.”

    "John has remarkable talent and well developed tactical skills for his age," said HTC-Columbia Team Manager Rolf Aldag. "He will be a good addition to our classics team and is also able to be present in sprint finals. We look forward to helping him develop over the next few years."

  • Bettini's Italian world championships team taking shape

    Italian manager Paolo Bettini before the start of the race
    Article published:
    August 23, 2010, 22:23 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Bettini goes for attackers over sprinters, rules Cavendish out

    Italian national coach and former two-time world champion Paolo Bettini is close to finalizing the nine riders that will make up the 'Squadra' of his first ever national team for the Elite men's road race in Melbourne.

    Bettini made a three-day trip to Australia to see the course of the world championships in July and has been carefully studying and talking with the Italian riders under consideration just like his predecessor, Franco Ballerini who tragically died in a car rally accident in February.

    Bettini is convinced the world championship road race will not end in a bunch sprint. He could select sprinters of the calibre of Alessandro Petacchi and Daniele Bennati but is likely to select a team full off aggressive riders who also have a fast finish.

    "It's a testing course. It's harder than Madrid 2005 and actually reminds me of Benidorm in 1992 when Bugno won. But he did not win in a bunch sprint even though here were a lot of sprinters in the race," Bettini told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "This year's race could end with a group of 40 riders all together but the winner will be the guy who is the strongest on the slightly uphill finish. The course is a mix of Ghent-Wevelgem, the Amstel Gold Race and Fleche Branconne."

    Gazzetta dello Sport predict that Filippo Pozzato will be the designated team leader for Italy in Melbourne. He is currently training at altitude in Livigno and will ride the Vuelta a España as final preparation for the world championships.

    Giovanni Visconti and Vincenzo Nibali are expected to be alternative leaders to Pozzato, with Bettini's former teammate and close friend Luca Paolini the road captain and tactical coordinator. Marco Pinotti is likely to ride both the time trial and the road race, while Matteo Tosatto and Andrea Tonti look set to be hard working domestiques.

    Gazzetta dello Sport believes Bettini has a long list of 18 riders unnder...

  • McEwen disappointed by world championship selectors’ lack of faith

    Robbie McEwen (Katusha) nabs his first win since February.
    Article published:
    August 24, 2010, 2:16 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian men's world championship squad to be named today

    Robbie McEwen has described the feeling of being left out of Australia’s worlds squad as Cycling Australia’s selectors prepare to announce its final nine for the Geelong, Australia event today. McEwen blew the lid off the announcement on Saturday when he revealed via Twitter he had been informed of his non-selection, narrowing the list of remaining contenders to 14.

    "I am disappointed at missing a once-in-a-lifetime event like this when my form is good and still improving. I am disappointed with what I feel is a lack of faith in me and respect for my ability,'' McEwen told The Sydney Morning Herald.

    The snub by selectors hasn’t diminished McEwen’s desire to represent Australia however, with the rider already turning his focus to next year’s UCI World Road Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. While out of contract at season’s end, McEwen is currently in negotiations to complete one more, likely final, year as a professional cyclist.

    "I'm absolutely gutted and really, really disappointed," McEwen told The Australian. "The selectors felt that the road course between Melbourne and Geelong was just too tough for me, but I don't agree. I've ridden over it and believe I could have been managed it and been competitive.”

    The course in Geelong has been a topic of much discussion since it was first launched. It was originally touted as a sprinter’s course for the likes of McEwen and Mark Cavendish, however examination of the climb on the closing circuit has many – including former world champion Paolo Bettini – convinced such riders won’t be in the mix.

    Compounding McEwen’s disappointment was the fact he won an Eneco Tour stage last week, one of his biggest victories since a serious knee injury ruined his 2009 season.

    "Like everyone else I'm just shocked that I've been axed. I truly believe I've done enough here at the Eneco to have...

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