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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Date published:
February 08, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Sinkewitz looking to Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Giro d'Italia

    Patrik Sinkewitz (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) returned an adverse analytical finding for HGH.
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 15:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    German with Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli aiming for the top again

    Patrik Sinkewitz has his sights set on Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro d'Italia this season. Th German, riding for the Italian Professional Continental team Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli, is still trying to establish himself after his doping suspension.

    The 30-year-old said the six weeks from mid-April to the end of May are when, “I will and must reach my best form. At Liege-Bastogne-Liege I want to improve on my good results from past years.” He finished fourth in the race in 2006, whilst riding for T-Mobile Team.

    From there he will race Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt, which he won in 2007 when it was called Rund um den Henninger Turm.

    Sinkewitz will then make his debut in the Giro d'Italia, his first Grand Tour since the 2007 Tour de France. “I will appear there in top form. This race is extremely important for me and my team.”

    He is opening his season at Qatar, followed by Oman. In the first race, “I will mainly try to find my racing rhythm and support the sprinters on our team. In Oman there will be a mountaintop finish, where I will test my form in competition for the first time this year.”

    Sinkewitz is proud of his team's performance so far this season, “a terrific season start: five stage wins at the Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia were followed by a further stage win in Calabria. In comparison to 2010 we have thus made a major step forward and established ourselves as a team at the top.”

    Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli already has confirmed invitations to “such important races” as the Giro d'Italia, Tirreno-Adriatico, Paris-Roubaix, Milan-San Remo, Fleche Wallonne, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, he said.

  • Video: Martin talks operations and the excitement of the new team

    Dan Martin (Garmin-Transitions)
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 16:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Cervélo climber looking towards the Classics

    Talking from the Garmin-Cervélo training camp close to his home in Girona, Dan Martin tells Cyclingnews about the two operations he had over the winter to try to improve the allergy problems that plagued him in 2010.

    In the video, the 24-year-old Irishman talks about how he needed an additional operation after he burst an artery in his nose following his first procedure, losing half a litre of blood. Having nothing but praise for the hospital, he said the biggest problem was how his body reacted to the anaesthetic, which left him unable to stand up for four days afterwards.

    Martin has enjoyed the team camp, and is excited about the new team. Although some of the riders and staff are familiar to him from his days on Garmin-Transitions, he says it’s the biggest change he’s faced since turning pro in 2008. The changes are exciting, and he says it keeps him fresh, and full of new motivation.

    He will be riding the Tour Méditerranéen, but his main objectives for Spring will be the Ardennes Classics. He doesn't yet know what effect his operations will have, but he’s looking forward to starting racing and finding out.

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  • Backstedt returns to competitive racing

    Magnus Backstedt shows off the UK Youth team kit.
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 20:15 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Swede feeling strong after two years of retirement

    Former Paris-Roubaix Champion Magnus Backstedt has confirmed his return to competitive cycling this season following a two-year retirement from the sport.

    The 36-year-old Swede will compete for elite amateur outfit Team UK Youth, which is scheduled to participate in British Cycling's Premier Calendar of races against a number of British Continental squads. The team is being backed by former Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell, whose sons, Leo and Greg, also form part of the squad's 11-man roster.

    Although the Premier Calendar events are a far cry from the roads of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de France, the former Alessio-Bianchi, Liquigas and Garmin professional told Cyclingnews that his return is being treated with exactly the same focus as his earlier career.

    "When I retired two years ago, my body was just shot to bits from 14 years of crashes and illness, and I'd never really had the chance to recover properly from those problems while I was still racing," said Backstedt.

    "I've had two years out and I feel like a new man again - there's no pains, no niggles. The commitment and training is still the same and I'm taking it very seriously, but I am slightly more relaxed about it than I used to be."

    Backstedt remains the only Swedish winner of Paris-Roubaix, following his victory at the race in 2004. Since his initial retirement at end of the 2008 season, Backstedt has remained involved in cycling through commentary for British Eurosport and management of several amateur teams, most sponsored by his own Magnus Maximus Coffee brand.

    His involvement in the Team UK Youth team began when Mansell, the charity's President, asked Backstedt to manage the squad late last year. The two had met while working together on a 1,300-mile charity cycling event organised by Mansell in August, 2010 and while Backstedt accepted the...

  • Riccò hospitalized for possible kidney ailment

    Riccardo Riccò awaits the start of the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise.
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 22:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian remains under observation

    Italian cyclist Riccardo Riccò suffered a sudden illness after a training ride on Sunday afternoon and was taken to the hospital, according to reports in La Gazzetta di Modena. Riccò's father spoke of "kidney failure", but the 27-year-old Italian's ailment has not yet been confirmed.

    After being admitted to a hospital in Pavullo, Italy, Riccò's condition worsened necessitating a transfer to S.Agostino-Estense. The Italian climber's condition has improved, but he remains under observation.

    A press release was issued by S.Agostino-Estense stating, "Following an illness yesterday afternoon, Riccardo Riccò has been hospitalised in Baggiovara. His condition, initially critical, is improving. As a matter of prudence, the prognosis is reserved."

    Another statement will be issued at 5 p.m. on Tuesday providing an update regarding his condition.

    The Italian climber returned to racing in March of 2010 with the Flaminia Ceramica team having served his ban from a positive test for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France. Riccò later transferred to the Vacansoleil team on September 1 on which he concluded his 2010 season.

    Riccò remains on the Dutch Vacansoleil-DCM for 2011, which has moved from Professional Continental to ProTeam status this year.

    Riccò has raced once this season thus far, making his racing debut at France's Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise on January 30th where he finished in seventh place.

  • Boonen puts injury troubles behind him at Tour of Qatar

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) won the stage and took the lead
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 23:33 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Video: Belgian at home in the wind on stage one

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) has cut a fit and motivated figure in Doha since arriving late last week, and the 30-year-old Belgian confirmed that he is recovered from the knee injury that ruined his 2010 season with a splendid victory on the first road stage of the Tour of Qatar.

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    After outsprinting Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad) and Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) to take the win at Al Khor Corniche, Boonen explained that he was glad to put a black period of his career behind him. He underwent knee surgery in July of last year, and only returned to racing at the Circuit Franco-Belge in late September. The winter months were spent fine-tuning his rehabilitation.



    "It took me a long time to get back in the saddle, a lot of work," Boonen said. "It was maybe the hardest thing in my career getting here in a good shape. I'm here now and I'm really happy that I could do the first stage with a victory straight away. It's good for the morale and it shows that all the work I've done is paying off."

    Since the...

  • Video: Stage One Highlights of the Tour of Qatar

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) won the stage and took the lead
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 23:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Hammond, Cavendish, cross winds and Boonen

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) bounced back from a full year of near misses with a winning performance on stage one of the Tour of Qatar, sprinting to the line ahead of a breakaway.

    Incredibly it was the Belgian’s first win since last March.

    The stage was marked by a group of 18 riders breaking free from the bunch in strong crosswinds. Lars Boom (Rabobank) started the stage with a four-second lead on general classification but soon fell back with stomach problems.

    In this exclusive Cyclingnews video Roger Hammond (Garmin-Cervélo) gives his take on the stage while there’s highlights from both out on the road and the sprint finish.


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  • Record-breaking Bobridge back on the road in Qatar

    Jack Bobridge was looking proud in his Aussie jersey.
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 1:23 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Australian surprised by world pursuit record

    Fresh from setting the individual pursuit world record at the Australian track championships, Garmin-Cervélo's Jack Bobridge has returned to the road at the Tour of Qatar. The current Australian national road race champion beat Chris Boardman's 1996 record by clocking a time of 4:10.534 in Sydney last week.

    "It was a bit of a surprise to tell you the truth," Bobridge told Cyclingnews in Qatar. "My personal best before that was only a 4:14. Everyone thought that Boardman's record was nearly untouchable and I thought it was impossible too.

    "To come out and get it in the qualifying round was fantastic. You couldn't ask for much more. My initial goal was to go there to win rather than set a record."

    Boardman was typically gracious in his praise of the record-breaking ride and the Bobridge was touched by the Englishman's words. "It was fantastic to see that he was so nice and it meant a lot coming from a guy that did so much in his career," the Australian champion said.

    Boardman's 1996 record - using the now-outlawed Superman position - came on the back of finishing the Tour de France for the first time, and the Englishman went on to smash Tony Rominger's world hour record little over a week later. Bobridge explained that like Boardman, he too has the capacity to transfer road form to the track.

    "I can normally do a good time coming off a good road block," he said. "Most of my good times have come off of stage races. My two best times ever, this year and last year, have both come off the Tour Down Under."

    A different kettle of fish

    Bobridge was quick to point out that preparing for the team pursuit was a very different matter, and required an intense block of track training.

    "It's completely different for the team pursuit," he said. "You can't really race that quick off of road...

  • Bernucci and family banned for up to five years on doping charges

    Lorenzo Bernucci (Fassa Bortolo) post-stage
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 9:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former pro, mother, brother, wife and father-in-law all sentenced

    Former pro Lorenzo Bernucci and various family members have all been banned for three to five years on doping charges, the Italian Olympic Committee announced on Monday. The charges stem from a search of Bernucci's house in April 2010, when drugs were found.

    Bernucci, who admitted to doping, was given a five-year ban, running through February 6, 2016. His wife, Valentina Borgioli, his mother, Antonella Rossi, and his father-in-law Fabrizio Borgioli, were given four years. His brother, Alessio Bernucci, received a three-year ban. Bernucci denied that any of them were involved.

    The family members are not athletes but are barred from attending certain sporting facilities and events in Italy.

    Bernucci, 31, faced a life-time ban, as it was his second violation. He was previously banned for two years after testing positive in 2009 for the appetite suppressant Sibutramine.

    His home was searched in April 2010, and he claimed at the time that the drugs which were found belonged to his wife and brother.

    “What more can I say? Nothing. It’s all been published,” Bernucci told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    “The attempt to use illegal doping products was my choice. It was just before Flanders and a series of important races. I didn’t want to fail to live up to the expectations of the team. That’s why I was tempted to ‘help myself’. As I said it was a mistake and I’ll pay the price.”

    Bernucci insisted that his family was not involved.

    “At first my brother thought about accepting responsibility but in August...