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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Date published:
December 27, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Bronzini: my jersey is worth as much as Cavendish's

    Two: Bronzini reminds everyone she is a double world champion
    Article published:
    December 26, 2011, 10:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian world champion calls for structure and sponsorship

    Giorgia Bronzini has lamented the lack of structure and sponsorship in women’s cycling in Italy and internationally, and rebutted UCI president Pat McQuaid’s assertion that women’s cycling has “not developed enough” for a guaranteed minimum wage.

    McQuaid’s comments were made at the world championships in Copenhagen in September, where Bronzini captured her second consecutive rainbow jersey in the women’s road race.

    “I’d say that moment has arrived, and has done for a while. Women’s cycling is ready to make important steps,” Bronzini told Tuttobici. “Already in Copenhagen I wanted to speak with the president of the UCI to inform him that my jersey was worth just as much as Cavendish’s one, and to give him a list of reasons why we women deserve more.”

    Worlds silver medallist Marianne Vos will ride in the colours of Rabobank in 2012, and Bronzini called on the top-level Italian squads to follow suit and form their own women’s teams. The Italian will return to the Diadora-Pasta Zara-Manhattan set-up in 2012.

    “Italian women give more to cycling than they receive,” she said. “Our movement is growing in numbers and in value, with results that the men haven’t been able to obtain, at least in the last few years. What are we missing? Structures, from managers to teams, and above all, we’re lacking money and sponsors.

    “Abroad they’ve understood that women improve cycling, and some of the biggest teams have opened...

  • Bennati ready to support Cancellara on the cobbles

    Daniele Bennati with his wife Chiara before the start
    Article published:
    December 26, 2011, 12:14 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Italian hoping to ride London 2012 Olympics

    Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) will ride the cobbled classics in support of teammate Fabian Cancellara in 2012 after forgoing all but Gent-Wevelgem last season. The Italian opted to end his classics campaign after his second place finish in Wevelgem last March for fear of exacerbating a nagging Achilles tendon injury on the cobbles.

    “Last year, I didn’t ride the cobbled classics because I didn’t want to risk the Achilles tendon injury that I had on the pave,” Bennati told Cyclingnews. “Cance already wanted me to be there with him last season for the classics, and this time around, I’ve said ‘Cance, I’m with you for the cobbled classics, and I really want to help you win your races.’

    “So all going well, I’ll be there. After San Remo, I’ll be at Harelbeke, which is WorldTour this year, then Gent-Wevelgem and Flanders, although I don’t think I’ll be at Paris-Roubaix.”

    While Cancellara triumphed at the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen in 2011, he ultimately fell short at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, finishing third and second, respectively. Bennati’s role in 2012 will be to buttress his support in the finale of the cobbled classics, although before heading north, the Tuscan may also have an opportunity to unleash his sprint at Milan-San Remo.

    “Fabian will certainly be the point of reference for the classics,” Bennati said. “But if we come to the finish in a bunch, I hope that I can do my own sprint. By a bunch, I mean one that’s been whittled down by a selection. And then if...

  • Gallery: Beach volleyball and training with Rabobank

    Juan Manual Garate, Carlos Barredo, Matty Breschel, Erik Beukink and Maarten Tjallingii
    Article published:
    December 26, 2011, 16:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch team heads to warmer climates for training camp

    Rabobank enjoyed its first training camp ahead of the 2012 season, with a block of riding and team bonding in Fuerteventura.

    The Dutch team hit the ground running in 2011, with wins during the Tour Down Under and the Tours of Qatar and Oman and will be looking to repeat that in 2012.

    The team camp was made up of the European riders, with the Australians Michael Matthews, Greame Brown and new signing Mark Renshaw all remaining at home ahead of next month's Tour Down Under.

    View the gallery.

  • Video: Schlecks on 2012 London Olympic road course

    The Schleck brothers have been forced indoors to keep their winter training going
    Article published:
    December 26, 2011, 18:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    "You never know what can happen"

    Although their main aim for the 2012 season remains victory at the Tour de France, both Schleck brothers are hoping to line up at the Olympic road race in London.

    The course itself is not ideal for the Luxembourg brothers but in this exclusive video for Cyclingnews, the pair discuss what the Olympics means to them and also how they'll hope to retain their Tour form for London.


  • Lotto-Belisol to participate in Tour de India

    Neo-pro Tosh Van der Sande models the kit for Lotto-Belisol's 2012 season.
    Article published:
    December 27, 2011, 10:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian squad sends young riders to Asia Tour events

    Lotto-Belisol has announced its rider selection for the upcoming Tour de India, a series of three one-day races held in January 2012. The new Belgian World Tour team will participate in the Tour de India I, II and III, taking place on January 22, 26 and 29 in the cities of Pune, Delhi and Mumbai.

    Team management has decided to send a mix of young talent and experienced veterans to the Asia Tour events. Kenny Dehaes, the team's appointed leader, will count on the support of newcomer Mehdi Sohrabi from Iran.

    Sander Cordeel, Frederique Robert, Tosh Van der Sande and Jonas Vangenechten round out the roster.

    "We are giving our young talented riders the chance to prove themselves on the highest level," team boss Marc Sergeant told Sporza. "It's up to us now to make the step a successful one. We want our 'young talent' to have the opportunity to ride for themselves and gain experience in international competitions from a selected continental calendar."

    Other teams taking part in the Tour de India are the CFI International Team of India, Team Bonitas from South Africa, Genesys Wealth Advisers from Australia, SP Tableware from Greece, Colnago-CSF Inox from Italy, Uzbekistan Suren Cycling Team, Uzbekistan National Cycling Team, Kazakhstan National Team and Rapha Condor Sharp from the United Kingdom.

  • Former F1 star Alex Zanardi set for 2012 Paralympics

    Alex Zanardi completes the 2007 New York Marathon
    Article published:
    December 27, 2011, 11:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian aiming for gold in hand cycling

    Ten years on from an horrific racing car accident, former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi is planning a raid on the 2012 Paralympic Games as a hand cyclist. The 45-year-old Italian lost both of his legs in September 2001 after a horror collision in Germany with another driver at the European leg of the CART championship series, a competition which Zanardi had won twice in the past.

    Doctors revealed that Zanardi was ten minutes from death after his car was sliced into two parts, and that his heart stopped seven times. It was a miracle that he survived and his rehabilitation has been a lengthy process. His injuries were bad enough, but Zanardi also admits that he suffered from depression in the aftermath and the years that followed.

    But aided by the birth of his son three years ago, Zanardi is now looking ahead to the future and a spot in the hand cycling event at the 2012 Paralympics. Fittingly, the venue for the race is a motor racing circuit - Brands Hatch in Kent. He is currently ranked the number one hand cyclist in the world, having won the New York Marathon earlier this year (a race he also completed in 2007), and if all goes to plan and he gets to London with no injury setbacks he will be the favourite for the 20km road race and the time trial.

    “I shouldn’t have survived that accident,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “I basically survived for about 50 minutes with less than one litre of blood. Science says that’s simply impossible.

    “I’m not the youngest [on the hand cycling circuit], that’s for sure. There’s one Dutch kid who is 20, he will be 21 when we get to London. He is very, very strong, a very nice kid. But what can you do? I’m an old fart. But...

  • Schleck needs to improve to beat Contador and win the Tour de France, Riis says

    Article published:
    December 27, 2011, 13:11 GMT
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank team owner ranks captains Schleck, Contador, Basso and Hamilton

    Andy Schleck may never win the Tour de France “because he is not serious enough,” according to his former boss Bjarne Riis. The head of Team Saxo Bank rated his captains over the year, ranking Ivan Basso second to Alberto Contador.

    “Andy has what it takes,” Riis told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. “But he also has the weakness that he lacks the last bit of will to go all the way. Maybe because it comes too easily to him.

    “He may never reach his great goal of winning the Tour de France because he is not serious enough. But he is still young, and he becomes more mature with age. His problem is just that he races in the period when Alberto Contador also races - and he finds he can't beat Alberto.” 

    Riis rated Contador not only as his best captain ever, but also as one of the best riders ever. “Alberto is just the perfect match in all fields: he has talent, he has a unique physical presence on a bike, he has an unparalleled focus and a work ethic without equal. He also knows how to relax.

    “I've never even seen a rider with a talent like Contador. Never! We must go back to Eddy Merckx probably, Bernard Hinault, perhaps, to find someone similar. Alberto can be quite scary.”

    Basso was the rider “with the greatest potential”, second only to Contador, Riis said. “Ivan was an obvious talent, and his greatest talent was his seriousness.

    “Before Alberto, I had never met anyone who was as structured, serious and professional as Ivan. He trained so much that it bordered on the extreme. Sometimes I tried to hold him back a little because it was too much.”


  • Team GB opt for Surrey base ahead of London 2012 Olympics

    Wiggins will be in action at the 2012 Olympic road race
    Article published:
    December 27, 2011, 14:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cavendish, Wiggins and company to train close to course

    The Team GB cycling team will be based in Surrey before and during the London 2012 Olympic Games, with medal hopefuls Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins, Nicole Cooke and Lizzie Armitstead joining 15 other Olympic and Paralympic squads in the county that borders London. With part of the Olympic road race taking place on Surrey's roads, the riders will be looking to familiarise themselves with their surroundings ahead of their early start during the Games - the men's road race (250km) is one of the first events, on July 28, with the women's road race (140km) coming a day later.

    Cavendish, the newly-crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, is the current Road World Champion and is heavily favoured to win gold. He also won the Olympic test event over the course back in August. Cooke and Armitstead will need to put their differences aside and perform better than they did at the worlds in Copenhagen earlier this year if they are force their way into medal contention in front of their home fans.

    "These athletes demand world class training facilities and superb accommodation to ensure they are at their physical and mental peak for the 2012 Games," said Denise Saliagopoulos, Surrey's cabinet member for community services and the 2012 Games.

    "With this in mind, it is no surprise so many teams have chosen Surrey as their base. "The deadline for teams to obtain up to £25,000 from Locog as a training grant has been extended until the end of February. We'd be delighted to speak to Olympic and Paralympic nations and show them the superb facilities Surrey has to offer to help prepare their athletes for London 2012."