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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Date published:
January 18, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Bannan plays down rumours of GreenEdge recruiting tactics

    Shayne Bannan posses in front of the Greenedge Cycling van.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 0:15 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Says he will enter formal negotiations at "appropriate time"

    Shayne Bannan says he will not have to resort to "poaching" riders to fill out the new GreenEdge cycling project.

    There had been suggestions earlier this week that he had infringed rules set in place by the UCI by negotiating with Australian riders who were already under contract with other top level teams. Under the regulations, formal negotiations can only take place after August 1.

    Bannan, the former head of Australia's high performance program, said that most contact with riders interested in the project was a result of him having long-standing relationships with them.

    Several Australian riders have already been linked to GreenEdge, including new national road champion Jack Bobridge and Cameron Meyer – both of whom are on contracts with Garmin-Cervelo that will expire at the end of this season.

    Garmin-Cervelo's sports director, Australian Matt White is also rumoured to be joining the new project which, if everything goes to plan, will join the ProTeams in 2012.

    The rumours had particularly angered Garmin-Cervelo boss Jonathan Vaughters who fired a warning: "While I understand the strong national pride of Australians and understand the desire to have a team of their own, if any employment discussions of any sort occur with any of our riders outside of the mandated transfer time then we will pursue the appropriate legal action."

    Bannan says this simply won't be necessary.

    "Obviously it's in our best interests to target the best Australians who are out of contract at the end of 2011," said Bannan. "At the appropriate time we will be in more formal negotiations."

  • Landis retires from cycling, effective immediately

    Floyd Landis at the New Pathways for Pro Cycling conference in Australia
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 7:59 GMT
    Cycling News

    Says it is not up to him to fix cycling

    Floyd Landis has turned his back on cycling. He is retiring immediately and moving on to other things, he told

    His doping disclosures last year have kicked off a major US investigation, but he is pessimistic about the outcome. "I'm relatively sure this sport cannot be fixed, but that's not my job, that's not my fight," Landis said.

    Landis has been unable to find a new team, and is quitting for that reason. “I don't want it to come across that I'm quitting because I'm bitter,” he said.

    "I've spent five years trying to get back to a place that I can never really go back to, and it's causing more stress than is worth it," Landis said. "There must be more to life than this.

    "I've been riding my bike a lot, trying to figure out life, which is the same reason I did it to start with, so I've come full circle. I'll always ride my bike. But I'll never start on a line on a road and try to get to another line on a road faster than another guy. That's over."

    Landis won the Tour de France in 2006, but lost the title after testing positive for testosterone during the race. He maintained his innocence and put up a major public defence, before finally losing the fight.

    In the spring of 2010, however, he changed his mind and started talking with investigators and cycling officials about doping in cycling.

    He eventually went public with the information, confessing to year-long doping practices, and exposing the doping practices of various teams with which he had been associated. All those named by him have publicly denied the charges.

  • Another day, another win for HTC-Highroad

    Matthew Goss faces questions after winning stage 1of the Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 8:30 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Teammates stick to the plan for in-form Goss

    For HTC-Highroad, today's win by Matthew Goss at the Santos Tour Down Under's opening stage was text book.

    Having shared the control of the bunch with Team Sky over the three laps around the vinyards of the Barossa Valley at the back end of the race, all of the pre-stage hype seemed to be coming to fruition.

    Australia's Goss went into today as the overwhelming favourite for general classification honours but was backing away just a little when it came to talk of him taking the opening honours telling Cyclingnews: "It's not going to be an easy day."

    Goss finished a good half-wheel in front of two-time Tour Down Under winner Andre Greipel but getting to the finish provided the Australian with a nervous few seconds of racing.

    "I saw Greipel behind me just as I started to sprint but I wasn't paying too much attention to that as I was just doing my own race so it worked out well," he said.

    "I kinda had my worries. [Mark] Renshaw did a great job and he got me to about 250 metres to go but it was slightly uphill and it was a tough finish but I managed to hold up until the end."

    Renshaw the man yet again for HTC-Highroad

    With a reputation of being the best lead-out man in the business, Renshaw had his work cut out for him in Angaston with an earlier than anticipated dash for the line. While Mark Cavendish is usually the recipient of Renshaw's talents, today was the day for Goss.

    HTC-Highroad's sports director Allan Peiper kept it short and sweet when reflecting on today's finish, telling Cyclingnews: "He's [Renshaw] the best. He's the best."

    The man himself said that the chaos he encountered over the last kilometre was far from ideal.

    "I'm a little bit disappointed because I had to go a long way out so I didn't really get to utilise the training that I've done," Renshaw explained.

    "When I was on the front with 600m to go it was stall and wait, and...

  • Sunday's crash still giving Henderson trouble

    Greg Henderson (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 8:49 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Team Sky miss out on podium position

    The opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under featured an arm-wrestle between Team Sky and HTC-Highroad over the final three laps around the Barossa Valley region of Adelaide.

    As Michael Rogers pushed the pace, expectations were that either Chris Sutton or Greg Henderson would play a significant role at the finish, but it wasn't to be, with Sutton fourth and Henderson 10th.

    "I wasn't feeling 100% today," Henderson told Cyclingnews after the stage. "I think all the bruising from my crash on Sunday night is starting to come out. I was so sore today and it was uncomfortable all day."

    The New Zealander crashed heading into the final bend of the Tour Down Under lead-up race, the Cancer Council Classic. While his injuries weren't serious, Henderson did lose a lot of skin off his left leg.

    "That crash the other night really took the edge off me today but as the week progresses I think I will get better and better - once all this bruising comes out. Hopefully."

    The hectic nature of today's final sprint over the 138km course resulted in a long burn over the final few hundred metres which did not favour a Team Sky lead-out which Henderson said was "de-railed."

    "We lost each other at one kilometre to go," he said. "When ‘G' [Gerrans] went, it was at the right time for him but there was only me left for CJ [Sutton]. I had to try and fight my way into the line somewhere, it left me out in the wind.

    "When the sprint starts you are already full of lactic acid and I couldn't even go. It wasn't ideal but it's what happens."

  • Elia Viviani takes up the challenge against Australian sprinters

    Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) ahead of stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 9:34 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Liquigas-Cannondale track rider on form Down Under

    Italian sprinter Elia Viviani took a valuable fifth place at the end of stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under, confirming his fourth place at the Cancer Council Classic on Sunday evening.

    “I did a nice sprint on Sunday,” the Italian from Liquigas-Cannondale told Cyclingnews on the start line in Mawson Lakes. “Fabio Sabatini gave me a great lead-out. It’s a pity that the crash at 700 metres obliged us to start sprinting again. Robbie McEwen and myself managed to catch three of the five guys who had taken some advantage ahead of the crash but unfortunately not the last two from HTC.”

    “However, I’m happy with my condition here”, he continued. “But we haven’t done long stages yet, so it remains to be seen where I’m at really.” Viviani was reported to have already shown good form at Liquigas’ December training camp in Sardinia.

    “After the European track championships in November, I had twenty days of an absolute break,” he explained. “But I’ve planned everything to start the new season strongly.”

    Viviani, who will turn 22 next month, had also finished his first pro season on a high note last year by winning the Memorial Marco Pantani and the Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke back to back. In April, when he rode for Liquigas for the first time, he won stage 7 of the Tour of Turkey in Antalya at the end of a bunch gallop marred by a few accidents and incidents. He showed that day that he possesses the agility that comes from his track background.

    Not that Viviani is a former track rider. He keeps riding in velodromes despite having a bright future on the road. “In February I’ll do the World Cup in Manchester and the world championships in Holland in March,” he said. “It’s important to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012.” He was a multiple European champion for scratch, points...

  • Halliday in critical but stable condition after Australian crash

    Defending Champion, Amber Halliday (Virgin Blue) has been injured at various times throughout 2010 including recently; not the best preparation for the Championships
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 9:42 GMT
    Susan Wesetmeyer

    Former national time trial champ suffered head and facial injuries

    Former Australian time trial champion Amber Halliday is in critical but stable condition with head injuries after a crash at Monday's Rendition Homes-Santos Women's Cup race in Adelaide.

    The 31-year-old is in Royal Adelaide Hospital. She apparently clipped wheels with another rider early in the race, and lost consciousness when she hit her head.

    According to a statement issued by her partner Mello Bouwmeester, "She is suffering from bleeding and bruising of the brain among some other injuries including facial fractures. Due to the nature of head traumas, we face a delicate wait to hear of more information."

    "All of us are hoping she makes a quick recovery,” Chloe Hosking, who took the overall win in the two-day criterium series, told "You don't want to see anyone crash and hurt themselves like Amber has."

    Executive manager of Cycling SA, Max Stevens, said Halliday is a fighter.

    "If anyone can get through something it's Amber Halliday," said Max Stevens, executive manager of Cycling South Australia. “She's a former world champion rower, she's an Australian champion cyclist and she is a tough customer.”

    Halliday is a multiple world rowing champion, who has also competed twice in the Olympics. After the Beijing Olympics she retired from rowing and took up cycling. She won the national time trial title in January 2010 and was seventh this year.

  • Perget shares time bonuses at Santos Tour Down Under

    Mathieu Perget (Ag2r-La Mondiale) pictured ahead of the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under.
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 10:06 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Ag2r-La Mondiale recruit brings experience to his new team

    Mathieu Perget was a recognisable face for locals in the first serious breakaway of the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under, even if his colours were not familiar. The Frenchman was making his first appearance for Ag2r-La Mondiale after spending the first five years of his pro career with Caisse d’Epargne.

    “I’ve come to this race three times and I’ve finished on the podium three times,” said Perget, who sees cycling as such a team sport that he considered himself as a podium finisher when he acted as a domestique for Luis Leon Sanchez, who came second overall in 2010, and José Joaquin Rojas, who finished third on two occasions.

    “I’m only talking about the team’s result,” Perget insisted. “I want to do the same again with Ag2r-La Mondiale. I’ve been recruited to bring my experience to the team. We want to have at least one rider in the top ten overall on Sunday. All of us will be able to survive over Willunga Hill on Saturday, so I believe the final placings will be determined by time bonuses. A three second bonus might be enough to make the top ten at the end.”

    “We are a team of attackers,” Perget continued. “We’ve been present in all the serious moves today. In the front group, I knew that I wasn’t the fastest but I got the other guys to agree on sharing the time bonuses, although the rider from Uni-SA (Mitch Docker) didn’t want to. I’m happy with the three seconds I got and mostly because I didn’t get caught in any time split at the finish. That was the hardest part of the stage.”

    Perget’s personal regret was the absence of Lance Armstrong in that front group. “I’m a fan of his and we were born on the same day (September 18),” noted the 26-year-old Frenchman. “Last year during the inaugural criterium in Adelaide, I enjoyed breaking away with him and Oscar Pereiro, Peter Sagan...

  • ProTeams protest about race radio ban at the Tour de San Luis

    Ivan Basso wears his radio in protest before the start of stage one of the Tour de San Luis
    Article published:
    January 18, 2011, 11:12 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Liquigas, Movistar and Ag2r wear radios at the sign-in

    The three ProTeams competing in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina have protested against the UCI ban on race radios by provocatively wearing them at the race sign-on before stage one.

    Liquigas-Cannondale directeur sportif Stefano Zanatta also refused to follow part of the 166km opening stage with the team car, leaving his riders to be serviced by the race organisers.

    Race judges reportedly checked the riders for radios as they signed on, but the stage went ahead after the riders agreed not to use them.

    Both the riders and teams have voted in favour of using race radio. 207 riders were in favour of radios, while only 40 were against in a vote organised by the CPA, the Association of Professional Racers. Representatives of the ProTeam and Professional Continental teams voted 18-2 in favour of using radios in a vote organised by International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP).

    “This rule is outrageous and affects our working rights. It’s humiliating,” Zanatta told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    Gianni Bugno, the head of the professional riders' union (CPA) was at the race and backed the protest.

    “This is yet another decision by the UCI that means cycling takes a step backwards,” he said. Apart from the tactical aspect, radios are fundamental for safety because the judges always signal any dangers. But why stop the DS passing on the info?”

    Gazzetta dello Sport also reports that Colombia's Mauricio Soler (Movistar) crashed on a dirt section of road because riders had not been warned of the danger by radio.