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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Date published:
December 07, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Ackermann explains reasons of retirement

    Silvere Ackermann (Vorarlberg-Corratec) leads the peloton at Gombak and took the bonus sprint.
    Article published:
    December 06, 2010, 12:20 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    25-year-old questions competition and its link to doping

    Silvère Ackermann, who used to ride for the Austrian Vorarlberg-Corratec team, put an end to his career in a highly symbolic and spectacular fashion during the Swiss championship road race, in June. He was part of a race-leading breakaway and could have battled for the national title, but he stopped at the road side and called it quits. At 25 years of age, he was just starting a promising career but decided to hang up the bike for quite radical reasons.

    Speaking to French Cyclismag, Ackermann explained that he had been questioning his profession for a while.

    "My decision was made at a training camp before the Tour de Suisse more than a year ago. I said to myself that if I was in a solo break, I would step off the bike and retire. It would have shocked more than one spectator, even more so if I had done it five metres before the finish line, almost winning a race. I would have done it like that, I'm crazy enough for that," said Ackermann, who waited until June 2010 to make his exit.

    Ackermann turned pro with Vorarlberg-Corratec in 2009 after having raced with various amateur teams since 2005. But he soon started to question the world of professional cycling, and even the idea of competition itself which he finds intrinsically linked to doping.

    "I'm tired of cyclists being morally held up as something they're not. The media, politicians, sponsors, the heads of the UCI - often these are people without any morals, they use double language all the time. They ask the athletes to be highly competitive and to respect so-called moral values at the same time. Those who advocate these sort of ideas must be joking, because they would be unable to apply them to their own activities."

    Ackermann, whose good results in races helped him find self-confidence, finally found that the life of a pro rider didn't suit him. "I've seen too many people, particularly riders, to be eternally unsatisfied, running after a better team, a...

  • Contador attends first Saxo Bank-SunGard camp

    Contador show's his technique
    Article published:
    December 06, 2010, 12:27 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    A photo gallery from the team bonding week in Fuerteventura

    Alberto Contador put his doping problems aside for a few days to spend time with his new Saxo Bank-SunGard teammates in the Canary Islands.

    The Spaniard does not know if he will be able to race with Bjarne Riis’ team in 2011 after testing positive for Clenbuterol during the Tour de France. However he seemed to enjoy the get-together in Fuerteventura as he got to know new teammates including Richie Porte, Baden Cooke, Nick Nuyens and Jonny Bellis.

    Team owner Bjarne Riis is known for his tough boot camps, that push the riders and staff to their limits. In the past he has taken his team to the wilds of Northern Denmark and even South Africa, forcing everyone to overcome their fears of water and even dangerous animals, to prepare them for the problems of the season ahead. With budgets tight for 2011, the Danish team held a more traditional camp at the resort of sponsor Playitas in Fuerteventura. The riders spent a week together, riding their new Specialized 2011 bikes and competing in teams as they learnt to wind- and kite-surf, and perform as a group of acrobats.

    Because most riders are still under contract with their 2010 teams, they rode in their old kit. Contador rode in his Astana clothing and Nuyens was in his Rabobank kit. They will be able to wear their new kit from January 1.

    The atmosphere was relaxed but Riis kept an eye on everyone in the team.

    “To me, the most important issue during this year's team building has been to integrate all the new riders and staff and to establish a team spirit based upon good and memorable experiences which will be remembered and talked about throughout the whole year,” Riis said.

    “And I can already see that it is paying off. The atmosphere is relaxed. People are laughing, having a great time and it's important for me to know that everyone gets the feeling of being part of the well-known Saxo Bank-SunGard team spirit.”

    The riders are set to...

  • Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project to wear Craft Performance Apparel

    The brothers Schleck join the Luxembourg Cycling Project in 2011.
    Article published:
    December 06, 2010, 14:40 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Swedish company to provide kit and casual clothing

    The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project will be clad by Craft Performance Apparel for the next few years. The Swedish company will provide both racing kit and casual clothing for the new ProTeam formed around Andy and Fränk Schleck.

    Craft has a history of creating "the most innovative performance clothing in multiple areas of Nordic sports," according to a team press release, and will now work with the team "to develop the most advance cycling clothing in the industry."

    "We couldn't be happier to have joined forces with Craft since they continually show the same passion and ambition we have for the sport," team manager Brian Nygaard said. "We see this as a key component in the successful development of our project."

    Craft Brand Manager Erik Abrahamsson was equally pleased. "Everyone from the CEO to the designers to the seamstresses is extremely excited about the partnership. Our brand has based its core endeavours to develop products in conjunction with world class athletes; there is no question in our mind that we are joining the top team in cycling."

    The company will look to adapt its ski and speed-skating skin suits to cycling. "Our ski developments have worked well," Abrahamsson said. "But now that we have invested a lot of time, money and people, we are ready to tackle the cycling industry full throttle."

    "From the first moment we started talking with Craft about the possibility of working together, I knew that we would have a strong partner with whom we could move forward and fulfil our ambitions as a top flight professional cycling team," Nygaard said.

    The team kit will be tailored to each individual rider, Craft Product Manager Mattias Carlsson explained. "Everything will be customised to the needs and preferences of each rider, and their eventual feedback will play a huge role in our future product development.

    "It's a big task to have each rider with his own tailored kit, but at the end of the...

  • Duggan impressed by Liquigas-Cannondale camp

    Timmy Duggan (Garmin-Transitions) gets bottles for his team.
    Article published:
    December 06, 2010, 17:10 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    American set to race Classics and Amgen Tour of California in 2011

    Fresh from his first training camp with Liqugias-Cannondale, Timmy Duggan is raring to go after a number of injury-hit years with Garmin-Transitions. The American is currently back in his home in Spain, but will hook up with his Italian teammates next week in Sardinia for another two-week long training camp.

    “It was a nice get off on the right foot with all the team and staff. We were on a mountain pass with nothing but a couple of hotels and a few mountain passes. We didn’t have any distractions from the media or lots of other things. We could just start off on the right foot which was really important the for the team as we have around eight or nine new faces,” Duggan told Cyclingnews.

    In fact Liquigas have gone through one of the biggest exoduses in their history with Francesco Chicchi (Quick Step), Robert Kiserlovski (Astana), Roman Kreuziger (Astana), Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Ivan Santaromita (BMC), Oliver Zaugg and Daniele Benatti (Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project) all leaving. Twelve new faces, including Duggan have come in.

    Duggan himself has had a difficult few years. He sustained serious head injuries in a crash at the Tour de Georgia in 2008 and despite a few flashes of success in 2009, had another tough season this year.

    In February he crashed in the Tour Méditerranéen and broke his shoulder. Following time off the bike he crashed again at Amstel Gold, this time breaking his collar bone. That wasn’t the end of his bad luck and in July he broke his elbow.

    However, having signed from Garmin-Transitions and with a new team and a fresh outlook on racing under a different culture, Duggan feels he is moving in the right direction. It hasn’t been without sacrifice though, and with two almost back-to-back camps the American has been forced to spend just a short period at home in the US with his wife.

    “We’ll finalise all the race programme next week...

  • Zomegnan clarifies team selection for 2011 races

    Race director Angelo Zomegnan
    Article published:
    December 06, 2010, 19:18 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Race organisers and the UCI reach 15+3 agreement

    Angelo Zomegnan, the director of the Giro d’Italia, has confirmed to Cyclingnews that the major race organisers and the UCI have reached an agreement that means the 18 teams awarded a ProTeam licence for 2011 will ride all the races on the World Tour calendar.

    However he insisted that the still to be signed agreement is based on a 15+3 system to allow for any future reductions in the number of ProTeams in the sport. Under the bilateral agreement, the top 15 teams in the UCI sporting hierarchy automatically secure invitations to all the World Tour races, with up to three others teams decided by the UCI..

    The race organisers are allowed to decide who to invite for the remaining places in races and are expected to award four wild card places in major stage races and up to seven in other races.

    “I haven’t signed and returned the deal yet but we’ve reached an outline agreement and there are only a few bureaucratic details to sort out. The agreement is for a 15+3 system,” Zomegnan told Cyclingnews.

    “The agreement means that in 2011 the AG2R, Quick Step and Euskaltel-Euskadi teams will ride all the WorldTour races along with the other teams. However the agreement does not mean that 18 teams will automatically have the right to compete in the all the races. The top 15 teams will have an automatic invitation but the other three will be based on sporting, ethical, financial and administrative criteria. Nobody will be able to let all their riders go after a successful season and still be sure of a place in the biggest races anymore.”

    Long running dispute

    The long running dispute between the major race organisers and the UCI has always been centred on the control of which teams and riders are invited to ride the biggest races, especially the Tour de France.

    The teams and the UCI want to be able to guarantee major teams and sponsors a place in...

  • Honda Insight Women's International GP Series starts tomorrow

    Honda Dream Team leader Rochelle Gilmore.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2010, 0:09 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Gilmore & co begin criterium series as favourites

    Commonwealth Games gold medallist, reigning Cronulla Grand Prix champion and Honda Dream Team leader Rochelle Gilmore will join 60 other riders competing in the Honda Insight Women's International Grand Prix Series commencing in Bathurst, Australia, tomorrow.

    Gilmore is looking forward to the series and expects the Honda Dream Team to be competitive despite fierce international competition.

    "The Honda Insight Women's International Grand Prix will be tough; it's the start of the summer and we are taking it very seriously," said Gilmore. "After taking home first and second place at the Noosa Grand Prix last month, the Honda Dream Team is ready to take on what is sure to be a strong field of challengers."

    The five race series will be staged at Bathurst, Parramatta, Gosford, Coogee and Cronulla, with each event run over circuits of 20 to 24 kilometres. The Coogee and Cronulla races will be televised live around Australia on the Nine Network.

    Other members of the Honda Dream Team include Tiffany Cromwell, Peta Mullens, Melissa Hoskins and Josephine Tomic.

    They'll be up against high-profile riders such as Russian pro Evgenia Romanuta, New Zealand trio Emily Collins, Courtney Lowe and Kate Chilcott as well as 2008 Cronulla Grand Prix winner Kirsty Broun, plus Emma Mackie and track world champions Sarah Kent, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Megan Dunn.

    Mr. Stephen Collins, Honda Australia's General Manager Sales and Marketing, said Honda is delighted to be the naming rights sponsor of such a prestigious, dynamic and exciting new cycling event.

    "Sponsoring this exciting event is part of the increasing support Honda is providing to women's cycling both here and overseas," said Collins.

    "We're looking forward to the start of the series in Bathurst tomorrow. We are delighted to be supporting both the series and the Honda Dream Team led by Rochelle and we see this as an ideal opportunity to celebrate the launch of the...

  • Wurf debuts for Liquigas-Cannondale at Tour Down Under

    Cameron Wurf (Androni Giocattoli) presses on alone after dropping his two breakaway companions on the l Papi ascent.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2010, 1:46 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian hits the ProTour on home soil

    Australian rider Cameron Wurf will make his debut for Liquigas-Cannondale in the opening round of the UCI ProTour when he lines up for the Santos Tour Down Under next January.

    Having ridden for another Italian squad this season in Gianni Savio's Androni-Giocattoli team, Wurf impressed Liquigas-Cannondale management and was signed to the outfit earlier this year.

    Roberto Amadio's team - including Wurf - recently enjoyed a pre-season training camp amidst the snow in San Pellegrino, although conditions in Australia next January will be significantly different, with Tour Down Under temperatures regularly hitting 40 degrees Celsius.

    It's likely the 27-year-old Tasmanian will ride the Australian national championships in Ballarat, Victoria in the weeks preceeding the Tour Down Under, where he's expected to perform well in the individual time trial.

  • Tech news: Team sponsorship round-up

    Thomas Voeckler stays on as captain of the reformed Europcar team and will stay on his familiar Colnago, too.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2010, 3:10 GMT
    By:
    James Huang, technical editor

    A look at who's riding what in 2011

    Garmin-Transitions switches to Cervélo bikes, Rotor components, Castelli clothing

    Garmin-Transitions is undergoing one of the most comprehensive supplier changes among the top road teams, swapping bikes, components and clothing for the 2011 season.

    Cervélo will replace Felt as the team's bike supplier and also step in a co-title sponsor after the company decided to move away from its innovative manufacturer-backed TestTeam model of the past few years. The team - heretofore known as Garmin-Cervélo - will mostly be aboard the aero-profiled S3 carbon frames though some of the squad's smaller riders and climbing specialists may opt for the lighter R5/R3 models. Transitions is expected to sponsor the team but as the official lens supplier rather than a title sponsor.

    "As we have often mentioned, our primary goal has always been to have some control over the direction that cycling will take," said Cervélo co-founder Phil White. "In our eight years in pro cycling, we have seen the many possibilities cycling offers. The very positive response to a focus on more than just racing has been great. The emphasis we have had on product R&D since 2003 will be integrated into the new team's routine as well."

    In addition, SRAM replaces long-time component supplier Shimano and will supply its top-end Red transmission, DoubleTap levers and brakes. Rotor will step in as the crank supplier, though, providing its clever 3D hollow-milled aluminum cranks and an assortment of round and elliptical chainrings. The removable spider also allows for an apparent move to SRM power meters away from Powertap, too.

    Garmin-Cervélo will even change clothing sponsors for the next three years, trading out Colorado-based Pearl Izumi for Castelli. The Italian company is slated to provide apparel for the pro men's and women's teams along with the U23 and even the junior development squads.

    As was the...