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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Date published:
August 03, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Team Type 1 stepping up in 2011

    Chris Jones (Team Type 1) in the break during the 2010 Philadelphia International Championship.
    Article published:
    August 02, 2010, 21:11 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Pro Continental status, European base planned

    American Continental squad Team Type 1 has big ambitions for the 2011 season, and the wheels are in motion to take their program to the next level. "We're on the verge of announcing some big things with the team which we can't do just yet, but we're going to have a base set up in France and race as a Pro Continental team based out of Europe next year," Phil Southerland, Team Type 1 chief executive officer and founder, told Cyclingnews. "We've submitted our first round of applications [to the UCI], we're on track and we're looking forward to working with the UCI to ensure we are a Pro Continental team next year.

    "Our team is all about our mission, spreading the message of diabetes. The only way we're going to spread that on a worldwide basis is by doing races like the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, the Vuelta a España, and that's our focus."

    Team Type 1 is the world's only professional cycling team with a roster that includes riders who have Type 1 diabetes. The team was co-founded four years ago by Southerland and Joe Eldridge, both Type 1 diabetics, as it vied for victory at the Race Across America (RAAM). All eight members of that team were Type 1 diabetic cyclists. It was that achievement that inspired Southerland and Eldridge to strive to put the first Type 1 diabetic rider in the Giro d'Italia in 2011.

    Southerland is fully committed to the long-term success and growth of his team, but recently rumours appeared on a social networking site as well as the Cyclingnews Forum alleging that the team is in financial trouble due to riders paying their own way to races, something Southerland is quick to dispel.

    "We told our riders at the beginning of the year that our focus would be international expansion and getting ourselves aligned to the Giro [d'Italia] and to do a lot of the ASO races next year and that's what we've been doing," said Southerland. "We could have not done international racing and had...

  • AG2R, Skil-Shimano name new signings

    Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne) at the end of the day's stage
    Article published:
    August 03, 2010, 2:32 BST
    Cycling News

    French squad renews several contracts

    French ProTour outfit AG2R La Mondiale and Dutch Professional Continental squad Skil-Shimano have both announced new signings for the 2011 season. AG2R has added Mathieu Perget and Romain Lemarchand for next season while Skil named German Marcel Kittel as its newest recruit.

    Perget joins AG2R from Spanish squad Caisse d’Epargne, which has been unable to replace its sponsor for next season. The 25-year-old Frenchman has a handful of Grand Tours under his belt, including this year’s Tour de France, and won last year’s Tour du Limousin.

    Lemarchand rode as a trainee last season before joining Big Mat - Auber 93 for 2010. The Frenchman is a strong time trialler, having won the French U23 championship last year, and also showed his stage racing abilities with fifth place overall at Ronde de l’Oise this season.

    While just 22 years old, Kittel has an extensive list of results to his name. Skil-Shimano was delighted when announcing it had managed to sign the German for two seasons.

    “The management of the Skil-Shimano professional cycling team has persuaded Marcel Kittel to join the team in a two-year deal. The team has followed the young German through its talent-scouting programme for a while now,” read the team’s release.

    Kittel is a former European U23, World junior and German junior Time Trial Champion. He finished second overall at this year’s Mainfranken-Tour U23 but has won stages of Thüringen-Rundfahrt and Flèche du Sud. In 2006 he claimed overall victory at the Tour de Lorraine.

    AG2R also announced a raft of re-signings along with the addition of Perget and Lemarchand. It has extended the contracts of Cyril Dessel, Sébastien Hinault and Yuriy Krivtsov through 2011, while Guillaume Bonnafond, Martin Elmiger, John Gadret, Blel Kadri and Rinaldo Nocentini have all signed two year contracts, taking them through to the end of 2012.

  • Dean could ride Grand Tour triple…again

    Garmin-Transitions lead-out man Julian Dean finds himself in search of stage wins for himself while teammate Tyler Farrar heals up.
    Article published:
    August 03, 2010, 5:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Kiwi withdraws from Commonwealth Games selection

    New Zealand’s Julian Dean indicated he may ride three Grand Tours for the second consecutive season this year, as he withdrew from Commonwealth Games selection. Dean withdrew from selection for the Delhi, India event after discussions with his Garmin-Transitions’ trainer.

    Having already contested this year’s Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, Dean’s squad has asked him to ride the Vuelta a Espana which starts later this month. Despite pulling out of the Commonwealth Games, Dean expects he’ll have the form for the UCI World Road Championships in Australia two weeks earlier.

    "I know from experience that it is not realistic to carry on the form for much more than two weeks after a Grand Tour such as the Tour of Spain, particularly at the end of a very long season.” Dean said. “And although I’m confident that I’ll be in good form for the World Championships, I'm not sure if I'd be able to carry that form through to Delhi.

    “Rather than risk not being at my best for Delhi, it's better that I withdraw now and allow a promising young rider the opportunity to gain the experience,” he said.

    Dean is the second New Zealand rider to withdraw from the selection race this week after Tim Gudsell was forced out of contention when he broke his collarbone on the Tour of Poland’s opening stage. Last month Hayden Godfrey also withdrew his candidacy for the BikeNZ squad, as he battles to find form after an injury plagued season.

    “We have a number of pretty promising younger riders on the world stage now. This will give them a real opportunity which was something I had when I was young which helped me springboard my career.”

    Dean hasn’t contested a Commonwealth Games since they were held in Victoria, Canada, in 1994. The New Zealand Olympic Committee is expected to name the Commonwealth Games squad on Thursday.

  • Sanchez a reserve for Vuelta

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
    Article published:
    August 03, 2010, 5:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Euskaltel-Euskadi captain could cap off year at home

    Samuel Sanchez is one of Euskaltel-Euskadi's reserve riders for the 75th Vuelta a España, which begins in Seville on August 28.

    The Basque squad announced on its website the five riders who will definitely start Spain's Grand Tour; Igor Antón, Beñat Intxausti, Egoi Martínez, Gorka Verdugo and Mikel Nieve have been guaranteed places in the nine-man roster.

    Sanchez, who finished second overall last year (behind the now-suspended Alejandro Valverde) and third in 2007, recently took fourth at the Tour de France, only missing a place on the final podium courtesy of the final time trial, where Denis Menchov leap-frogged his Spanish rival to finish third in Paris.

    The day before that time trial he had fractured the radius of his right hand, although remarkably he still managed a commendable ninth in last weekend's Clasica San Sebastian.

    Last week, Foundation Euskadi President Miguel Madariaga told Europa Press: "Samuel is on the list of reserves for the Vuelta, but is not yet time to say whether he will participate or not.

    "You have to recover from the fracture you have. After San Sebastian we'll know if Samuel is able to continue training and riding a bike."

    Sanchez has been the subject of recent speculation - Spanish media reports on an apparent bid for his signature by Dutch Pro Continental squad Vacansoleil as it seeks a Grand Tour start in 2011. There's no news as to the likelihood of his transfer, although the offer was substantial, according to El Diario Vasco.

    Koldo Fernandez de Larrea, Javier Pérez, Alan Aramendía, Pablo Urtasun, Juanjo Oroz and Amets Txurruka are the other candidates for positions in Euskaltel-Euskadi's Vuelta starting line up, the latter two questionable starters as they recover from injuries suffered during the Tour.

  • Has Riis closed Contador deal?

    Alberto Contador (Astana) celebrates his third Tour win
    Article published:
    August 03, 2010, 7:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Post-race comments provide clues about Spaniard's move

    With a press conference scheduled today in Copenhagen, Denmark, Bjarne Riis is expected to unveil a new sponsor for his team and a new star rider - rumoured to be Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, whose comments overnight have added fuel to the fire of speculation.

    After winning the Profronde van Lommel in Belgium, Contador was approached by a reporter from Belgian sports daily Sporza and asked about his team for next season, which is at the centre of questioning from many quarters.

    "I think this week everybody will know which team I will be [on] next year," said Contador. Asked if the name Bjarne Riis would also be associated with that team, he added: "Yes, probably... [it's] a big possibility." Prompted to elaborate whether that was an affirmative, he reiterated that "it's a possibility".

    The move would benefit Riis' cause given that hitherto Saxo Bank riders Andy and Fränk Schleck have announced they'll be jumping ship at season's end in search of new challenges at the fledgling Luxembourg outfit initiated by former Riis colleague Kim Andersen.

    The addition of the three-time Tour champion to Riis' ranks will also fuel the friendly rivalry that has developed between Andy Schleck and Contador, seen clearly throughout this year's edition of la grande boucle as the pair traded attacks on the roads of France.

    Contador's comments add to the speculation that he'll join the experienced Dane's outfit, which has already confirmed US software company SunGard as a sponsor in 2011 and is likely to announce the second major partner during today's media gathering.

    Cyclingnews will keep you updated on the latest developments from today's press conference and the destination of Alberto Contador for next season.

  • Katusha announce stagiaire riders

    Team Katusha on its way to fourth in the team time trial stage of the Giro.
    Article published:
    August 03, 2010, 7:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Russian team third in UCI world Ranking

    Team Katusha has signed Alexander Mironov, Alexander Porsev and Mikhail Antonov as stagiaire riders for the remainder of the 2010 season. All three have moved up from the Itera-Katusha development squad.

    Alexander Mironov, 26, came third at the Russian National Road Championship this year and has won the Memorial Oleg Dyachenko, Trofeo Franco Balestra and a stage in the Tour de Normandie.

    Alexander Porsev, 24, won two stages in the Tour de Loir-et-Cher, as well as the Memorial Oleg Dyachenko. He was second in the Mayor Cup. Mikhail Antonov, 24, has won the Circuit des Ardennes International and Tour de Loir-et-Cher.

    At the same time, the Itera-Katusha continental team has signed Anton Vorobyev for the rest of the season. Vorobyev had been racing in Russia.

    Katusha has won 14 races this season, including two stages in the Giro d’Italia and a stage in the Tour de France. They currently sit third in the UCI team rankings thanks to points scored by Filippo Pozzato and Vuelta Pais Vasco winner Joaquim Rodriguez. Astana leads the World Ranking, with Saxo Bank second, just ahead of Katusha.

    Rodriguez is second behind Tour de France winner Alberto Contador in the latest individual UCI world Ranking.

  • Contador to ride with Riis in 2011

    My name is Riis – Bjarne Riis
    Article published:
    August 03, 2010, 10:27 BST
    Stephen Farrand & Tomas Nilsson

    Saxo Bank and SunGard confirmed as main sponsors

    Bjarne Riis has revealed that Saxo Bank will continue to sponsor his cycling team alongside new sponsor SunGard in 2011, with Tour de France winner Alberto Contador joining the team for the next two years. Specialized will continue as bike sponsor but will not be a title sponsor of the team.

    Riis announced the news today at a press conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    There has been huge speculation about Contador's future and the name of Riis' new backers in the last few days. Riis refused to reveal any details before the press conference but Danish television reported that Saxo Bank will put in approximately six million Euro for 2011. It is unclear if the trading and investment bank will continue their support beyond next year.

    According to reports in Denmark, Riis has already registered the website domain on the internet.

    “Saxo Bank has decided to go on for another year. Lars Seier (Kristensen, the co-CEO of Saxo Bank) has worked hard for this. I'm glad and proud that you we can go on with our super co-operation,” Riis said, cracking a rare smile as he made the announcement.

    “I’m proud to be able to present Alberto Contador on our team for next year. I'm proud to have been able to attract the world's best cyclist to a Danish team.”

    Lars Seier Kristensen said: “I went to the Tour this year convinced that it would be the last. But sometimes things change. I have followed the team during the Tour and heard Bjarne Riis talk about his ideas about the future. So we have changed our minds.”

    Both Kristensen and Riis refuted that Saxo Bank’s decision to continue their sponsorship for a further year had blocked the arrival of a new sponsor.

    “We’re not the new secret sponsor that have stepped back to let us go on,” Kristensen said.

    Riis said: “We have chosen this since we believe that it is the right way to...

  • Italian cycling transfer market kicks off as Riccò quits Flaminia

    Riccardo Riccò (Ceramica Flaminia) is in pain after his first win
    Article published:
    August 03, 2010, 13:49 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Visconti to stay with ISD, Cunego to Liquigas-Doimo?

    New UCI rules introduced this year have officially created a three-month transfer period in cycling -between August 1 to October 20, and the changes in the rules have sparked a series of announcements from riders and teams in the last few days.

    Until this year, riders and teams could only sign contracts after August 1 but not make any official announcements until September 1.

    Today Alberto Contador confirmed he will ride for Saxo-Bank-SunGard in 2011 and other announcements of major transfers are expected in coming days.

    Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali have already extended their contracts with Liquigas-Doimo but Cyclingnews understands that Riccardo Riccò is close to signing with a major ProTour team, perhaps in time to ride the Vuelta a Espana that starts in Seville on August 28. Riccò served a 20-month ban for doping after testing positive for CERA in the 2008 Tour de France but made a comeback this spring.

    Riccò bought his way out of his contract with Ceramica Flaminia for 75,000 Euro and is considering offers from two teams. His agent refused to name them but did reveal he has previously held negotiations with Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere.

    However it seems that Riccò is most likely to ride for a Spanish team, especially if Eusebio Unzue manages to secure funding to continue his team. Spanish mobile giant Telefonica and Banco Santander have been reported as possible sponsors although no formal announcement has yet been made. Riccò could ride in Ceramica Flaminia jersey for the last time at the GP di Camaiore in Italy on Saturday with an announcement about his future expected next week.

    According to Gazzetta dello Sport, new Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti will not move to Liquigas-Doimo in 2011 as had been expected. It seems the...