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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Date published:
January 12, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Team Tibco / To the Top bolsters 2010 roster

    Returning American riders Alison Starnes, Meredith Miller and Brooke Miller anchor the 2010 Team TIBCO/To the Top roster.
    Article published:
    January 11, 2010, 19:39 GMT
    Cycling News

    Status as registered UCI team helps attract more talent

    With its new status as a UCI-registered women's cycling team, Team TIBCO / To the Top added several elite international riders and a number of younger, up-and-coming riders, to an experienced returning core group that includes 2009 US National Road Champion Meredith Miller and 2008 Road and Criterium National Champion Brooke Miller. The team wants to build on its 2009 NRC Championship season, making its first foray into Europe in the spring.

    "We set out in 2009 to become the top team in North America and we achieved that goal," said the team's founder and Managing Director, Linda Jackson. "For this year, our goals are even higher. We'll be making our first trip to Europe, always with an eye toward the 2012 London Olympics. We want to build this team into a consistently strong international player this year and next, and develop as many Olympians as possible for 2012.

    "We have a lot of proven talent on the roster, and I'm very excited about our younger, developing riders," she said. "Team TIBCO will be going to all of its races - in the US and Europe - to win. Ruth Corset's win at Australian Road Nationals was made possible by the selfless work of her teammate Emma Mackie. It's this kind of teamwork that we plan on using to propel us to the top again in 2010."

    The addition of Corset and Mackie bring significant international experience to the team. Though she's only been racing for four years, Corset has excelled in the sport, receiving the honor of being named Australian Female Cyclist of the Year in 2009. She earned that honor with a stage win at the Route de France, two top five finishes at UCI World Cup races - Montreal and Plouay - and second overall at the Tour International Feminin en Limousin. She was also 12th at the World Championships, despite suffering several mechanicals. And now she's started off the 2010 season by winning the Australian national road championship.

    "She showed her grit by continually clawing her way...

  • Riis optimistic about Saxo Bank future

    Bjarne Riis
    Article published:
    January 11, 2010, 22:30 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Team's focus will be on the Classics and the Tour

    Speaking at a team press conference on Monday, Bjarne Riis said Saxo Bank will focus on both the Classics and the Tour de France. He described the team's 2010 ambitions as "similar to other years".

    "We want to be one of the best teams in the Classics. I'm confident and optimistic that we'll have very good results," said Riis. "I can't tell you we'll win them all, but we'll be there."

    The former Tour winner has guided Carlos Sastre and Ivan Basso to Grand Tour success in the past and with his current crop of Fränk and Andy Schleck, believes that he can repeat the feat in 2010. "The Tour [de France] is important with the team we have. We'll be one of the most powerful teams and everyone knows they can count on us."

    In 2009, Andy Schleck finished in second place while brother Fränk was fifth in the general classification. Despite losing several riders for 2010 due to a tightened budget, Riis is looking for riders like the Schleck brothers to repeat their 2009 success while also expecting a new crop of riders led by Jacob Fuglsang to step up.

    Riis explained an important philosophy behind his team. "I think it's wrong to focus on just one person. You need to have a strong team that supports you and you need to have strong plans. We work together to construe different situations in the winter. I think that shows."

    "It's easy to put together a good team when you have guys like this. I focus on the personalities and people who can work with the philosophies we have on the team. It's not just about having good bike riders. A rider has to fit into the team because the team work is crucial."

    "I always want to have a special team - one that doesn't just say it is a team, but shows it is a team."

    The Dane explained that one of his team's keys to success was having talented riders who all peak at different times - meaning someone on the team is ripe for a good performance at any given point in the season....

  • SpiderTech presented by Planet Energy announces double team launch

    Martin Gilbert (Planet Energy) sprints to a stage win in Missouri.
    Article published:
    January 11, 2010, 22:33 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Steve Bauer to auction 1990 Tour de France yellow jersey

    Canada's sole UCI Continental team SpiderTech presented by Planet Energy will launch its new squad in one of the nation's most prominent and historical landmarks at the Royal Ontario Museum located in Toronto, Canada on January 28. Directeur Sportif Steve Bauer will auction off one of his yellow jerseys earned as leader of the 1990 Tour de France as a symbol of the squad's ambition to become Canada's first ProTour team.

    "Our vision for the long term of the team is to go to the Tour de France and bring a Canadian core group, a Canadian-based team, in the future," Bauer said. "Because that's our vision it's a good time to pass that torch and send out the right message about what we are doing. We have enough Canadian guys in the world that are knocking on the door to be in the Tour."

    SpiderTech presented by Planet Energy will host two team launches with the first located at the Saputo Stadium in Montreal, Quebec on January 27 followed by the second launch in the neighboring city of Toronto the next day. The second launch, held at the Royal Ontario Museum, will include a private dinner for sponsors and VIPs along with a team fundraiser where Bauer will auction off his final yellow jersey from the 1990 Tour de France.

    Bauer is one of Canada's most decorated cyclists and has been inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. He was the second Canadian to earn a yellow jersey at the Tour de France, after Alex Stieda, and the only Canadian to wear it since.

    Bauer's collection of yellow jerseys totals fourteen, where captured while leading the 1988 Tour for five stages and again in 1990 where he led the race for nine consecutive stages. His achievements go on to include wins at the Dauphiné Libéré and the Zurich-Metzgete World Cup in 1989 along with medal-earning performances at the World Championships and the Olympic Games.

    The live auction will include items such as a...

  • Greipel may support Cavendish at Tour de France

    Mark Cavendish before a ride.
    Article published:
    January 11, 2010, 23:16 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    HTC-Columbia seeks to fill hole left by Hincapie as it targets green jersey

    Rolf Aldag has raised the possibility that André Greipel will support Mark Cavendish at the 2010 Tour de France, as part of HTC-Columbia's plan to fill the void left by George Hincapie.

    At the team's training camp in Majorca, Spain, on Monday, Aldag admitted that Hincapie had played a pivotal role in the set-up of Cavendish's six stage wins at the 2009 Tour and that it would be difficult to replace. However, he said the team was already working through strategies to ensure Cavendish was supported in his bid to claim more stage wins and the maillot vert at next year's Tour.

    "[Hincapie's departure] gave me the biggest headache over the winter," said Aldag. "He has the technical know-how and was able to deliver [Cavendish's final lead-out man Mark] Renshaw to 500 metres to go at the Tour last year.

    "This year, we'll divide [Hincapie's] role in two. In terms of the technical skills, Bernhard Eisel is a guy that has proven his ability. André Greipel is still an option. You'll definitely see us trying out different combinations."

    The prospect of Greipel joining Cavendish at the Tour would set up a situation where one of the two most successful members of the 2009 peloton would cede his ambitions for the benefit of the other.

    Asked how he would manage the risk of conflicting interests at the Tour, Aldag said it was the responsibility of the team to ensure both riders were satisfied in their individual objectives for the season.

    "We need to give André goals [worthy of his ability]. He deserves his own chances. We, as a team, need to respect that," said Aldag. "We have to make him happy no matter what happens at the Tour."

    In addition to Greipel and Eisel, Aldag indicated that new signings Hayden Roulston and Matthew Goss were also being considered as riders with the potential to excel in the final kilometre of Tour stages.

    With two riders likely to come in to fill Hincapie's role in the...

  • Are you the lucky winner of an Argon 18 Krypton bike?

    Article published:
    January 12, 2010, 7:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Reader poll competition winner announced!

    Congratulations to James William Rowe from Norwich, Connecticut, winner of our reader poll competition. James, 28, is a Lutheran pastor and big cycling fan and wins a fantastic Argon 18 Krypton bike, complete with a SRAM Red groupset, Fast Forward F4R Clinchers, RavX bar, stem and seatpost, Speedplay Zero Cro-moly pedals and carbon bottle cages. James only learnt to ride a bike 10 years ago but he's a cycling fanatic.

    "I avidly follow cycling, probably obsessively so. I'm online checking news five times a day. But I'm so shocked to have won. I never win anything and I'm pretty excited."

    We wish James the best of luck with his new bike and would like to thank everyone who entered the competition.

  • 2009 Reader Poll: Cancellara crowned rider of the year

    Fabian Cancellara in control as he rides to the gold medal.
    Article published:
    January 12, 2010, 7:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    Swiss powerhouse pips Cavendish for top honours

    Congratulations to Fabian Cancellara, the Cyclingnews rider of the year for 2009, as voted by you our readers. Cancellara may have missed out on the male rider of the year award to Alberto Contador but the Swiss time trial specialist pipped runner-up Mark Cavendish by 168 votes and third-placed Contador by 750 votes to top this category.

    "I'm really proud that the readers of voted me rider of the year. It is a big honour that dedicated cycling fans found that I deserved this title. 2009 was a really good year for me with victories in the World Chanpionships and Tour de Suisse. I hope that 2010 will be just as successful and I'm looking forward to races like Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders and the Tour de France," Fabian Cancellara said.

    2009 was a roller coaster of a year for Cancellara. It started out with a winning performance in the Tour of California prologue before the rider was forced to quit the race the following day due to illness.

    A mixture of bad luck and a lack of form destroyed his Classics campaign but he was back on track with a superb winning performance in the Tour de Suisse, prompting many to hypothesise that he could crack the top five at the Tour de France. Those musings turned out to be no more than poppycock, and despite a strong start to the Tour and winning the Monaco prologue, he was reduced back into team duties as early as the first mountain stage.

    Come the Vuelta a España the 28-year-old Swiss was somewhere back to his best, winning both the prologue and first time trial before abandoning the race to train for the Worlds. And he saved his best performance of the year till last, winning the time trial world championship on home soil in Mendrisio, annihilating the opposition and putting on one of the greatest-ever time trial performances. Despite being one of the strongest riders in the road race he was a marked man and had to settle for fifth.

    In total Cancellara...

  • Lotto prime Gilbert and Van den Broeck for success

    Philippe Gilbert goes on the attack.
    Article published:
    January 12, 2010, 11:00 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Sergeant on life without Evans

    Omega Pharma-Lotto hope to start the 2010 racing season in strong fashion after a successful end to their 2009 campaign. The Belgian ProTour team, then known as Silence-Lotto, didn't win a race until the end of March in 2009, but ended the season with a series of wins thanks to Philippe Gilbert and Cadel Evans scooping the rainbow jersey.

    “I hope we continue the momentum from the end of 2009,” team manager Marc Sergeant told, from the team's training camp on Mallorca.

    The team is preparing for the season “in a tranquil atmosphere,” he said. “We go over the programme for each rider and which races they will ride.”

    Gilbert, who ended 2009 with four top victories, will ride the Spring Classics, as will Greg Van Avermaet and Jurgen Roelandts. “Greg Van Avermaet is eager to forget 2009 and that certainly applies to Jurgen Roelandts, too. One of those three will be our top man this spring.”

    In 2009, the team looked to Cadel Evans at the Tour de France, but the World Champion chose to leave for BMC Racing Team this year. “We worked well together for five years,” Sergeant said. “I still regret his departure.”

    Omega Pharma-Lotto will now have Jurgen Van den Broeck as its head man in France. “Jurgen has proved that he can do something. He can finish in the top ten or win a mountain stage.”

    The 26-year-old finished fifteenth in the Tour last year, although the team had hoped for a higher placing. “We have to believe,” Sergeant said.

    The team had hoped to sign Roman Kreuziger for this season, but the 23-year-old had an ongoing contract with Liquigas. The Czech rider, who finished ninth in the Tour de France in 2009, would have been the Tour captain.


  • Simoni to ride last Giro d'Italia with Lampre

    Simoni cools down at the 2009 Giro
    Article published:
    January 12, 2010, 12:08 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Decision pending on team's ProTour licence, due to arrive today

    Italian Gilberto Simoni will end his career at the Giro d'Italia this May with team Lampre-Farnese Vini. The Italian team is waiting on its ProTour licence to confirm the contract, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "Gilberto may or may not be nice, but in terms of grit and character there is no one like him," said team manager Giuseppe Saronni. "The years pass, but we are certain, given his enthusiasm, that he can still have an honourable Giro.

    Saronni said that they are waiting on the International Cycling Union (UCI) to confirm the team's ProTour licence. The UCI has made the decision to register the team in the ProTour division and the announcement is expected today.

    The decision would allow Simoni to end 17 years of professional racing May 30 in Verona's Roman Arena, the finish line of the Giro d'Italia's final stage. It would be his 15th participation in the Giro d'Italia, including wins in the 2001 and 2003 editions.

    "It's a sentimental decision to return to this team, but I still lack the signature," said Simoni.

    Simoni won his first Giro d'Italia with Lampre, but his relationship with Saronni broke down at the end of 2001.

    Simoni later squabbled with 2004 teammate Damiano Cunego, who won four stages and the eventual overall at the Giro at the age of 22. Simoni shouted, "you're a bastard" at Cunego as he celebrated his fourth stage win at Bormio.

    Simoni, 38, re-established his friendship with Cunego, 28, last winter at a benefit dinner in Milan. He also publicly announced his desire to ride to Giro d'Italia director Angelo Zomegnan. The two met yesterday to discuss the riders' strike in last year's Milan circuit stage.

    Simoni said that it is too early to discuss training plans or his first race.

    Last March, he won stage three and held the lead of the Vuelta Mexico. He helped team Diquigiovanni win three stages at the Giro, but he finished 46 minutes behind winner...