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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Date published:
August 31, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Bos said to be set to return to Rabobank

    Theo Bos leads Niki Terpstra.
    Article published:
    August 30, 2010, 11:03 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cervelo's departure sends Dutch rider back to previous team

    Theo Bos and Rabobank are on the verge of signing a two-year contract, according to the Dutch media. Bos left the Dutch team to ride for Cervelo TestTeam this year, but now must seek a new team.

    Bos, 27, has a contract with Cervelo through 2011, but the team has announced it will stop at the end of this year. “There is still little clarity at Cervelo,” his manager Orlando van den Bosch told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “Besides the financial picture, Bos chose the team for its sporting offer. Now the sponsor just withdraws and does not comply with the contracts.”

    According to AD.nl, Rabobank team management immediately got in contact with Bos when the first rumours about Cervelo's demise appeared. As many as eight teams are said to have contacted the sprinter, but all are apparently being told that Bos already has a contract. A formal announcement is expected within a few days.

    Bos left Rabobank after making his road debut with its Continental team last season, saying that he could not achieve his sporting ambitions on the team. He has four victories this year, all in Spain.

  • Intxausti signs for Movistar

    Spaniard Beñat Intxausti (Euskaltel - Euskadi) rides to third overall.
    Article published:
    August 30, 2010, 11:15 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Skil-Shimano sign two French neo-pros

    Beñat Intxausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi) will ride for Movistar in 2011, according to the rider’s website. The 24-year-old rider had already announced his intentions to leave the Basque team this summer and he had been courted by a number of teams in the intervening period, including Astana.

    It is understood that Intxausti has agreed on a three-year contract with Movistar, who take over sponsorship of the Caisse d’Epargne squad next season. Intxausti impressed in finishing third at the Tour of the Basque Country in April and is widely viewed as one of the most promising prospects in the Spanish peloton.

    Intxausti is currently competing at the Vuelta a España where he is juggling team duties and personal ambition. “My mission is to help Igor Antón and also to take my own chances,” Intxausti explained. A puncture on the road to Murcia on stage 10 of last year’s Vuelta cost Intxausti, then of Fuji-Servetto, the chance to compete for a stage win. He eventually finished the Vuelta in 60th place overall.

    Meanwhile, Skil-Shimano have added to their roster by signing up two young French neo-pros for 2011, Thomas Bonnin and Thomas Damuseau.

    21-year-old climber Bonnin has been riding as a stagiare with Ag2r-La Mondiale in recent weeks but has opted to join the professional ranks with Skil-Shimano. Bonnin was particularly impressive at the Tour de l’Ain, where he finished 20th overall and was prominent on the stage over the Grand Colombier. He will ride for the French national team at next month’s Tour de l’Avenir.

    Thomas Damuseau is currently a stagiare with Skil-Shimano and has confirmed that he will turn professional with the outfit next season. The 21-year-old from Grenoble finished in second place at the French U-23 championship last weekend and was 7th in the tough testing ground of the Giro delle Regioni in Italy earlier this season.
     

  • Hushovd confirms Garmin transition

    Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) descends on stage two.
    Article published:
    August 30, 2010, 19:10 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Norwegian champion to ride for revamped team in 2011

    Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) has confirmed that he will join Garmin-Transitions in 2011 and he suggested that he will be joined by a number of his current Cervélo teammates at the revamped squad.

    The Norwegian champion is aiming to make a serious impact on the spring classics next season and the strength of Garmin-Transitions in this area was one of the main motivating factors for his decision.

    "I have signed for Garmin, so this is my new team for next year," Hushovd told TV 2 Sport after stage 3 of the Vuelta a España. "I have signed because they are focusing very much on the classics next year, and that's a big goal for me.

    "It's going to be a very good team and I get to bring many of the other riders I have at Cervélo with me. I think this is the best solution."

    Last week Cyclingnews reported that Hushovd was strongly linked with a move to Garmin-Transitions for 2011, along with fellow Cervélo riders Heinrich Haussler, Andreas Klier and Roger Hammond.

    It was subsequently confirmed that Cervélo TestTeam will cease to exist at the end of the 2010 season and that Cervélo will become bike sponsor to Garmin-Transitions from 2011 onwards.

  • Gilbert enjoys first leadership in a Grand Tour

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) took a fine stage win in Malaga
    Article published:
    August 30, 2010, 23:10 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Belgian building for road Worlds

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) looked very focused on the sea side of Marbella at the start of the Vuelta a España's stage three. The 28-year-old Belgian even tried to hide that he had gone to the Castillo de Gibralfaro to reconnoitre the uphill finish by car in the morning but the news was broken by his teammates.

    The other riders in the bunch didn't need to know that for naming him as the hottest favourite for the day's line honours, however.

    The Belgian classics specialist added to Monday's Vuelta stage win with status as Omega Pharma-Lotto's leader in a Grand Tour - for the first time - and he was delighted to get the red jersey.

    "It's a nice surprise," he said. "I had been second on the results sheets of the Tour de France once behind Alejandro Valverde after stage one in Plumelec [2008]. It was also an uphill finish. I was once classified sixth at the Giro. I've been close to the jersey before but I didn't get it. Now I'll do my best to respect this red jersey."

    Gilbert won in Malaga in the same way he claimed the Amstel Gold Race in April: "This one was a similar climb to the Cauberg," he explained.

    Gilbert is a happy man. Three weeks prior to his first stage win at the Vuelta, he married his girlfriend Patricia on August 7 in Belgium. Their first baby is expected two months from now and when he crossed the line, he kissed a jewel to send her a message of love.

    But he has set his sight on another event as well. "I came to the Vuelta for gearing up for the world championships and with the ambition of winning a stage," he said. "The second goal is already reached."

    Gilbert doesn't hide his ambitions to become the world champion in Geelong, Australia, on October 3. "The toughness of the course has been underestimated by many favourites," he said. "If it's a sprint at the end, there'll be a maximum of 25 to 30 riders. We might see the same riders who usually perform well at the Worlds.

    ...
  • Cheatley and Colavita-Baci crowned NRC champions

    Cath Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) won stage 1 and assumed the race lead.
    Article published:
    August 31, 2010, 2:13 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Achievement exceeds Kiwi rider's expectations

    New Zealand's Cath Cheatley (Colavita-Baci p/b Cookinglight) proved her all-round road racing ability when she captured the 2010 National Racing Calendar (NRC) series title following her second place at the Chris Thater Memorial Criterium on Sunday.

    "I'm pretty happy about winning the NRC," Cheatley told Cyclingnews. "Personally, I think I've improved in a lot of areas and turned into a pretty good all rounder. I worked hard on some of my weaknesses and I'm happy about that.

    "It's a pretty cool feeling because I never really thought, coming into the season, that I could really pull it off," she continued. "I've got a lot of family and friends following me back home and it makes me really proud that I can bring something like this back home, that I'm number one in the USA."

    Her team not only helped her gain the points she needed to consolidate the individual title, they accumulated enough points through out the season to win the NRC team classification.

    Cheatley's teammates included Kate Bates, Kelly Benjamin, Rushlee Buchanan, Theresa Cliff-Ryan, Andrea Dvorak, Shontell Gauthier, Heather Logan-Spencer, Jessica Phillips, Carmen Small and Modesta Vzesniauskaite.

    "We went out this year not intending to win it but I think if you race your bike and race to win races, which is what we have done all year, it just comes hand in hand," said Cheatley. "We've been really consistent this year."

    The NRC series began at the Redlands Bicycle Classic held in March in California and was followed by 15 rounds of stage races and criteriums capped off by the Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton, New York.

    Cheatley took her top spot in the NRC standings following the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic and entered the final round leading the individual classification by 216 points ahead of last year's winner Alison Powers (Vera Bradley Foundation) and an additional 95 points to US national road champion, Mara Abbott (Peanut...

  • Giro d'Italia heading to Slovakia?

    Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan
    Article published:
    August 31, 2010, 5:36 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Zomegnan meets with government representatives

    Giro d'Italia organiser RCS Sport announced overnight that Slovakian authorities have expressed an interest in hosting the race

    Giro race director Angelo Zomegnan was in Bratislava yesterday to meet with local representatives who may play a role in bringing the year's first grand tour to the small Middle-European nation.

    The meeting comes ahead of the 54th edition of the Tour of Slovakia, where Italian energy company Enel is the main sponsor. The listed company also sponsors the Ducati MotoGP racing team.

    Tour of Slovakia race organiser Juraj Takac and several of Enel's Bratislava executives invited Zomegnan to meet with Italian Ambassador Brunella Borzi Cornacchia and Vice President of the Italian-Slovak Chamber of Commerce and ENEL executive Michele Bologna yesterday.

    Zomegnan also met Minister of Finance, Ivan Miklos, and the Minister of Transport and Tourism, Jan Figel. This morning he will meet the Minister of Education and Sport, Eugen Jurzica and Vice Foreign Minister, Milan Jezovika.

    Last year there were talks between Zomegnan and officials from the city of Washington DC as to the probability of the race departing from American shores. While that plan has been placed on hold for now, the Slovakian option looks more promising thanks to Enel's role.

    The driving force of the project is to "develop tourism and promote and intensify the process of integration of small countries [which have] recently joined the European Community with the great nations that have established it," according to the RCS Sport statement.

  • Cancellara to leave Saxo Bank?

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) on his way to the stage win
    Article published:
    August 31, 2010, 9:40 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Swiss rider confirms interest from other teams

    Will Fabian Cancellara be the next rider to leave Team Saxo Bank? Following the departure of Fränk and Andy Schleck and the arrival of Alberto Contador, the world time trial champion has indicated he may also move to a new team for the 2011 season, even though he has a contract with the Danish team for 2011.

    Cancellara is currently riding the  as preparation for both the time trial and road race at the world championships in Melbourne September 29 – October 3 but sparked speculation about his future in a message on his personal web site.

    “I often think about next season as well. It is an open secret that other teams are interested in me,” he wrote.

    “I have to say, some interesting suggestions have been made, which would also offer me long-term opportunities for the future, i.e. beyond cycling.

    BMC Racing Team is said to be the most interested in signing the Swiss rider and could perhaps offer Cancellara the long-term career opportunities he mentions. However there is a still a good chance he could stay with Saxo Bank in 2011. 

    “As I am openly communicating with Bjarne Riis, we have of course discussed this situation. I am delighted that Bjarne will come to the Vuelta and that we will be able to talk about our pending tasks.” the 29-year-old said. “So I hope that I will know more about my fitness levels and where I'll be riding next year after the Tour of Spain.”

    There will be major changes at Team Saxo Bank in 2011. The team will be known as Team Saxo Bank-SunGard. but Andy and Fränk Schleck, Jens Voigt, Matti Breschel, Jakob Fuglsang and Anders Lund have already announced they are leaving. Alberto Contador will join the team, bringing Daniel Navarro, Benjamin Noval and Jesus Hernandez with him.

  • Augustyn and Swift abandon Vuelta as illness strikes Sky

    Simon Gerrans signs an autograph.
    Article published:
    August 31, 2010, 10:01 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Gerrans, Kennaugh and three staff members also afflicted

    Two Team Sky riders were forced to abandon the Vuelta a España through illness yesterday and the team has confirmed that a number of riders and staff have been stricken by illness since the race started in Seville on Saturday.

    John-Lee Augustyn and Ben Swift pulled out of the race during yesterday’s stage, while Simon Gerrans and Peter Kennaugh just barely made it through the sweltering conditions on the road to Málaga. Meanwhile, three members of the squad’s backroom staff are also suffering from illness.

    Team principal Dave Brailsford is at a loss to explain the illness. “It’s basically that they can’t stop vomiting, but we don’t think that it’s food poisoning,” he told Reuters. “We’ve got out own chef and the riders and staff eat separately and we’re always very vigilant about hygiene.”

    The riders began to feel ill on Sunday night, after stage two to Marbella. Ben Swift had finished in 7th place on the day’s stage before coming down with illness that evening.

    "Ben had even said he felt great [on Sunday] - it just came on during the night; they had fevers and were throwing up everywhere,” Brailsford explained.

    The soaring temperatures on Monday’s stage did not help the ill riders’ cause and John-Lee Augustyn was the first to succumb to the illness as he abandoned soon after the start. Swift lasted a further 100km before being forced out of the race.

    “It's a massive blow for John-Lee and for Swifty too, a guy who's really started to show good form. For him to lose out now is a real, real shame,” Brailsford said.

    The illness sweeping through the team has also forced Brailsford to redraw his squad’s ambitions, at least for the next few days. “Right now, we want to try and keep the team afloat,” he admitted. “Then we’ll see what happens.”

    ...