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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Date published:
December 01, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Gerdemann learning from 2009 mistakes

    Linus Gerdemann (Team Milram) in the leader's jersey at the 2009 Bayern Rundfahrt.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2009, 14:22 GMT
    Cycling News

    Milram rider disappointed with the past season

    Linus Gerdemann of Team Milram is not satisfied with his 2009 season, and is trying to figure out how to do better in 2010.

    "My absolute season highlight was the Tour de France, and all my planning was for it," he told "The Tour, as it turned out, did not meet my expectations."

    The 27-year-old went into the Tour as his team's co-captain and GC candidate. It wasn't a question of things going particularly wrong as more that nothing really went right. He broke into the top ten in a stage finish only once, finishing tenth in the third stage. The German never seemed to get into the race and finished a disappointing 23rd overall.

    Things had looked good for the German in May, when he won the Bayern-Rundfahrt, although he didn't win any stages. He looked to prove his form with a good performance at the Tour de Suisse, but he never got on track, in a foreboding for the Tour de France. His low point came on the eighth stage when he finished over four and a half minutes down on the stage to Crans-Montana.

    Gerdemann then went to the Alps for additional climbing training, while Milram sport director Christian Henn evidently saw the handwriting on the wall, saying, "You can't really expect a top ten finish" in the Tour.

    He hoped to make up for things with a strong Vuelta a España, and in the 10th stage it looked like he would have his chance and bring in Milram's second stage win in the race. He attacked on a climb with only 20km to go, and was alone in the lead when he suffered a flat tyre. A neutral spare caused him to crash only minutes later,...

  • Rubiera relishing Vuelta stage on self-named climb

    Jose Luis 'Chechu' Rubiera will retire at the end of the 2010 season.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2009, 14:31 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Cotobello climb dubbed 'Cima Chechu Rubiera'

    José Luis 'Chechu' Rubiera says he believes that the Cotobello climb in Asturias that is almost to feature as a summit finish in the final week of the 2010 Vuelta a España will provide a spectacular setting for what is sure to be one of the crucial moments of the race.

    Rubiera adds that, if selected for the Vuelta by his new RadioShack team, it would also provide him with a great way to round off his career in his 16th and final season given that the climb has been dubbed the 'Cima Chechu Rubiera' in his honour.

    About to enter the last month of his contract with Astana, Rubiera recently climbed the Cotobello accompanied by journalists from Asturian paper Comercio Digital.

    "The Cotobello climbs steadily at about 8%. It's what cyclists call a 'puerto largo', a climb that takes a lot out of because of its constant difficulty," said Rubiera after his reconnaissance.

    "There aren't many climbs of more than 10km on which a good climber can create decent gaps. I believe there will be here because there are scarcely any points where you can get respite and on the final section there are ramps of 10-15% and even up to 18%, which mean that riders will have to maintain a good rhythm."

    Likely to come in the middle of the Vuelta's final week, Rubiera insists the climb will be decisive, especially if a rider like Alberto Contador is in contention. "It will be a decisive day full of mountains where riders such as Alberto Contador will be able to decide the Vuelta, because a champion like him will probably climb it in the 21 from the bottom and set a hellish pace that will be difficult to follow," Rubiera reckoned.

    Comparing it to other climbs in Asturias, Rubiera said "the Cotobello is a little less tough than the Angliru, but its constant gradient makes it as complicated as more mythic summit finishes that are already well known at the three major tours."

    He added that Vuelta organisers Unipublic...

  • Video: Steven Cozza's favourite ride

    Steven Cozza (Garmin-Slipstream) made his Paris-Roubaix debut in 2009.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2009, 18:34 GMT
    Daniel Simms

    Garmin pro's California commune with nature

    Steven Cozza, a 24-year-old Garmin-Slipstream professional, invited Cyclingnews to his hometown of Petaluma, California where he shared the details of his favourite training ride.

    The Marshall Wall/Mt. Tam loop encompasses approximately 140 kilometres of stunning Northern California scenery. Originating in Petaluma, the counter-clockwise circuit heads to the Pacific coast and California's famed Highway 1, ascends through a Redwood forest to the Mount Tamalpais ridge line, sinuously descends to Alpine Lake and then concludes with rolling, rural roads back to Cozza's hometown.

    It's easy to see why Cozza never trains with music with such a wealth of natural wonders to treat the senses. Whether it's watching fisherman on Tomales Bay, taking in spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and its Farallon Islands during the ride's 7,500 feet of climbing, catching glimpses of the occasional bobcat, coyote or deer, or simply listening to the wind, Cozza's route never ceases to engage the rider.

    To view an exclusive video of Steven's ride click here.

  • Basso will return to Tour de France in 2010

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas) on the attack during stage 14 of the 2009 Vuelta a España.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2009, 19:34 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Giro and Tour double in programme for Italian

    Italy's Ivan Basso will return to the Tour de France in 2010, four years after leaving on the eve of the race and the start of Operación Puerto. He will co-captain the Liquigas team at next year's Giro d'Italia with Franco Pellizotti and be one of three leaders at the Tour de France in July.

    "I have the most experience of us for the Tour," Basso told Cyclingnews. "Franco [Pellizotti] will not race for the classification and our two young guys [Vincenzo Nibali and Roman Kreuziger] will join me on the team. They will have more freedom if I am there with the big stars."

    Basso returned to racing full-time this season after serving a two-year suspension for the Operación Puerto doping investigation. After finishing second and third respectively in the 2005 and 2004 Tours, he was a favourite for the win at the 2006 Tour de France, but the investigation forced him out of the race before it started and led to an eventual suspension.

    He proved to still be competitive this year, finishing fifth at the Giro d'Italia and fourth at the Vuelta a España. Given the added confidence and days racing from 2009, he's able to start his 2010 season later than this year. Basso's first race of 2010 will be the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, March 22 to 28.

    "The journalists always looked to confirm that I had returned to my top form this year. I had form, but I was never able to be calm. With a year of racing, however, I am calm and secure.

    "The second thing is that I am working on my back to achieve a better aero position for time trialling. My legs and the bike are perfect, but it is my relationship with the bike [which needs work]. I am working in the gym and stretching to improve."

    Basso will co-captain the team at the Giro, May 8 to 30, with Pellizotti, who finished third overall this year. Liquigas will take all four of its classification men to the Tour, July 3 to 25: Basso, Pellizotti,...

  • Lancaster, Cooke to headline Scotty's Ride

    Scott Peoples won two stages of the Tour of Southland before he was tragically killed in 2006.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2009, 20:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Festival to honour Scott Peoples takes place December 12-13

    Olympic gold medalist Brett Lancaster and former Tour de France green jersey winner Baden Cooke are just two of the big name riders who are set to take part in the Scott Peoples Cycling Festival in Shepparton, Victoria. The event honours the life of Peoples, who was killed in a training accident in 2006.

    The third year of the event will see four activities over the course of the weekend. First off is the second annual Scotty's Ride, which will kick-start the weekend at 8.30am on Saturday morning. Participants can choose either a 129km or 54km ride, both fully supported recreational challenges are held on the quiet country roads around Shepparton.

    Along with Lancaster and Cooke, former Herald Sun Tour Champion Matt Wilson, Olympic gold medalist Scott McGrory and former Giro d'Italia stage winner Dave McKenzie will headline Scotty’s Ride, providing cyclists a rare opportunity to ‘Ride with the Stars’ of international cycling.

    At lunchtime, Scotty's Criterium (Graded Criteriums - A Grade, B Grade, C/D Grade & Women) will wind its way through Wyndham Street in Shepparton, whilst later in the day, Scotty's Track Carnival will be held at the Shepparton velodrome providing a minimum of three rides for all categories including motorpaces, handicaps, points scores, keirins and scratch races.

    Then on Sunday, the third annual Scotty's Race will begin at 8am with C & D grades covering 75km and A & B 135km.

    All events are being held with the assistance of The Scott Peoples Foundation which aims to assist in the development of junior cycling in regional Victoria.

    Entries close for all three events at midnight Sunday December 6.

    For more information, visit the Scott Peoples Foundation web site.

  • Women's Tour of New Zealand expands

    The women climb Strongbar Hill in 2008.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2009, 21:38 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    2010 route heads north into Manawatu region

    The Women's Tour of New Zealand will expand in 2010 into the Manawatu region of that country for the seventh edition of the race. Organiser Jorge Sandoval announced a six-stage course for the event, which was previously confined to Wellington, Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa.

    The race will begin on familiar ground with a 95km route from Martinborough to Masterton before heading into new territory on day two with a 114km stage from Masterton to Palmerston North via the Pahiatua Track. Racers will then complete two stages in the Palmerston North area before returning to Masterton on the penultimate day via the track, adding a degree of difficulty never before seen in the tour.

    The Pahiatua Track has figured in numerous Manawatu men's races over the years, including the Auckland to Wellington tour in 1987, but it will be virgin territory for an international women's race. The track has a fearsome reputation. Strong winds can batter the riders as they negotiate a 12km climb both out and back.

    "The 540 km tour route is one of the hardest in the six-year history of the event," said Sandoval. "It will reward the strong climbers. In addition to the Pahiatua track there are also the Admiral and Te Wharau hills in a total of 12 climbs.

    With the event part of the International Cycling Union's international circuit Sandoval is assured of high quality opposition to test the New Zealand riders, who will be using the event to enhance their claims for inclusion in the team for the Commonwealth Games in India later in the year.

    2010 NZCT Women's Tour of New Zealand

    Stage 1 - February 24: Martinborough - Masterton, 95km
    Stage 2 - February 25: Masterton - Palmerston North, 114km
    Stage 3 - February 26: Palmerston North Circuit, 125km
    Stage 4 - February 26: Palmerston North Criterium, 35km
    Stage 5 - February 27: Palmerston North - Masterton, 112km
    Stage 6 - February 28: City of Wellington...

  • Cavendish vying to be BBC Sports Personality of the Year

    Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia – HTC) rolls toward the start line on stage one
    Article published:
    December 01, 2009, 3:59 GMT
    Cycling News

    Stellar 2009 season could be capped off with prestigious award

    After a season that included wins in Milan-Sanremo, three stages of the Giro d'Italia and an incredible six Tour de France stages, Mark Cavendish is a top 10 nomination for this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

    His name arrived on the shortlist courtesy of 26 sports editors from British national and regional newspapers and magazines. The 10 nominees will be put to a public vote on the night of the live show, which will be broadcast on December 13.

    Last year the award was won by another cyclist, Sir Chris Hoy, for his gold medal haul at the Beijing Olympics. With the sport's profile rising in the United Kingdom, Cavendish's achievements were well documented and celebrated.

    Should Cavendish win the vote on December 13 - and he stands a good chance given that it's not an Olympic year - it will cap off a sensational season for the rider from the Isle of Man and British cycling in general. Bradley Wiggins' fourth place overall at this year's Tour is another obvious highlight, equalling Robert Millar's achievement 25 years ago.

    He'll be facing some stiff competition, however. Formula One world champion Jenson Button made the shortlist, while diver Tom Daley and Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs also made the cut.

    Viewers will also be able to vote for heptathlete Jessica Ennis and triple jumper Phillips Idowu, in addition to heavyweight boxer David Haye, England cricket captain Andrew Strauss, tennis player Andy Murray and world gymnastics champion Beth Tweddle.

  • Gesink and Vos named Dutch cyclists of the year

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    December 01, 2009, 10:23 GMT
    Cycling News

    Van Winden best young rider and retiring Groenendaal also honoured

    Robert Gesink of Rabobank and Marianne Vos of Team DSB Bank have been elected Cyclists of the Year in the Netherlands. Dennis van Winden of the Rabobank Continental Team was named best young rider.

    The selections were made by the readers of Wielermagazine and the members of Club '48, an organisation of former riders.

    Gesink, 23, won the award for the second year in a row, and was the 13th Rabobank rider since 1997 to take the title. The other nominees were teammate Lars Boom and Johnny Hoogerland of Vacansoleil.

    Considered to be the best Dutch climber in the peloton, Gesink suffered greatly from crashes over the season. He had headed into the Tour de France with an eye to a high finishing position, but ended up dropping out within the first week He crashed with about 80 kilometres to go on stage five from Le Cap d'Agde to Perpignan. Despite a broken left wrist, he made his way to the finish, riding one-handed and virtually unable to break.

    Events looked to tragically repeat themselves in the 17th stage of the Vuelta a España, when Gesink went down in a mass crash with some 57 kilometres left to go on the way from Ciudad Real to Talavera de la Reina. He once again finished the stage despite a serious cut in his left knee.

    Gesink had been hanging on to second place overall, but the injury hampered his climbing ability too severely, and he fell back, ending the Vuelta as sixth overall. He ended the year with his only victory of the season, winning the Giro dell'Emilia.

    Vos has proved herself to be an exceptional all-round talent, winning titles on the road and track and in cyclo-cross. In 2009 she gained the tiles of cyclo-cross World Champion and Dutch national road race Champion, while also winning La Fleche Wallonne Feminine for the third year in a row. She also finished second in the World road Championships. Most recently Vos, 22, won the World Cup 'cross race in Koksijde last...