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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Date published:
January 05, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Tech news: Malvern Star opens sponsorship account

    Genesys Wealth Advisers Cycling Team use the Malvern Star Oppy C7 at the Bay Cycling Classic.
    Article published:
    January 04, 2010, 19:03 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian icon and Genesys Wealth Advisers Cycling Team join forces

    Approximately 12 months after re-launching the brand, Malvern Star has announced its sponsorship of Australian domestic squad Genesys Wealth Advisers Cycling Team, formerly known as the Praties Cycling Team.

    The outfit now known as Genesys Wealth Advisers last year won prominent Australian races the Tour of Tasmania and Pengana Goulburn to Citi en route to capturing the National Team Series crown.

    The Australian-based squad will ride the Malvern Star Oppy C7, already recording wins thanks to Will Clarke in the Launceston International Criterium and Burnie Criterium. Team manager Steve Price said it’s "a great start for the team, great for our new sponsors too! Two big wins from two starts."

    The team is currently racing the Jayco Bay Series Criteriums before contesting the Australian Open Road Cycling Championships coming up in Ballarat.

  • Sutton says he'll be next Bay Classic champion

    Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms) powers out of a corner and towards the yellow jersey as the new series leader.
    Article published:
    January 04, 2010, 21:57 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Team Sky rider out to show he's quicker than Brown

    Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms) wants to show he's quicker than Graeme Brown in a sprint for the final Jayco Bay Cycling Classic stage of 2010, which would secure the younger rider his first overall title at the Victorian race. Sutton spoke confidently after taking over the leader's jersey by three points following a controversial day of racing on Monday.

    "I'm in yellow and we're going to defend it, I know we will," said Sutton. "We'll keep it."

    Sutton is employing a very simply strategy heading into the finale. He has the support of former Tour de France green jersey Baden Cooke, former British champion Jeremy Hunt and Melbourne - Warrnambool race winner Zakkari Dempster in his camp.

    "It's easy, just beat him," he said. "I'm just going to ride my own race. I've got a great team around [in] all the boys from Skilled/Lowe Farms, so they're going to put me up for the sprint. Baden Cooke is one of the best sprinters in the world - green jersey winner at the Tour de France and multiple stage wins. You name it, he's done it all.

    "I know they're going to do everything to help me win the stage tomorrow and hopefully win overall," he said.

    Asked if he was faster than Brown, Sutton was straight to the point. "Yes, just quietly, yes," he said. "I know I can tomorrow, I've got the confidence and I know I will. I'm not being cocky, but you've got to believe that you can and I believe I'm faster and I'm going to prove that tomorrow.

    "We're going to fire bullets, and we're just going to split the race to pieces," he said. "We'll see what happens."

    It's not only Brown that Sutton will need to worry about on the final stage. Both Greg Henderson (Mazda) and Matthew Goss (Team Degani Cycling Café) are reasonable mathematical chances at taking the victory, with the riders four and five points behind Sutton respectively.

  • Team Sky grants Pauwels grand tour choice

    Serge Pauwels during stage 15 of last year's Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 6:55 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Talented Belgian opts for Tour focus in 2010

    Serge Pauwels is impressed by what he's seen of his new team, Sky. In London for the squad's presentation on Monday, the 26-year-old told Cyclingnews he is confident the squad will be an ideal place for him to develop his career, which looks set to include a start at the Tour de France.

    "It was impressive," said Pauwels of his team's presentation. "It's what you expect from this team. So far it's just been really impressive; every detail covered. Everything is geared towards giving us, as riders, the best chance possible."

    For the second consecutive year Pauwels will start his season with a team new to the peloton. His transfer to the British squad - his first ProTour squad - follows a consistent season with Cervélo Test Team, where he was given the opportunity to ride his first grand tour at the Giro d'Italia. This year however, he is clear about which race will form the crux of his season.

    "The plan is to do the Tour de France in 2010 and it will be my main objective," he said. "[Bradley] Wiggins will be a favourite and he'll be the focus of the team. My goal will be to help him achieve another good general classification finish."

    Pauwels' performance at the 2009 Giro will no doubt give Wiggins confidence that he'll be able to count on solid support from his Belgian teammate come July. Although Pauwels finished 33rd overall, it was his sacrifice of his own chances of success on the race's 15th stage to assist then-captain, Carlos Sastre, that drew most attention and established his reputation as a dependable colleague.

    For Pauwels, too, the race was also a confirmation of his own ability and an important touchstone in the development of his now five year professional career.

    "Everyone says the season after your first grand tour you're a much stronger rider. I think for me it's been the mental strength that I've probably gained the most," he said. "I did so well in the Giro [d'Italia] last year and...

  • Swift settles in at Sky

    Ben Swift is confirmed on the team after back and forth with his former Katusha squad
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 9:22 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Katusha release Briton, Track Worlds first major objective

    With the question of Ben Swift's team for 2010 answered at the Team Sky presentation in London on Monday, the 22-year-old is now firmly focussed on his second season as a professional.

    Swift became the 26th and final member of the new British team, however his inclusion in the ProTour squad had been the subject of conjecture throughout December with a year left to run on his contract with Katusha.

    "There was a lot of rumour swirling about and I'm just happy it's all been sorted out so I can focus on the season ahead," Swift told Cyclingnews.

    His new team principal Dave Brailsford explained to Cyclingnews that Sky had reached an agreement with Katusha at the end of last month to release Swift from the final year of his deal with the Russian team.

    "I can't speak highly enough of [Katusha manager] Andrei Tchmil and his professionalism," said Brailsford. "I have a lot of respect for him; the whole thing was resolved amicably and now: off we go with Ben."

    Swift explained that eleventh hour move to Sky will allow him to focus on his major early season objective, the Track World Championships in Denmark, in March. The former British academy rider formed part of his nation's successful team pursuit squad at the Manchester round of the track World Cup last year and will aim for success on the boards of Copenhagen prior to what he hopes will be a year of improvement on the road.

    "[Being with Sky means] the Track Worlds will be my first major objective, before I concentrate the rest of the season on the road," he said. "After the Worlds, my goal will be to step it up a level. I'm only in my second year as a professional, but I'm hoping for consistency and a few more wins."

    Swift claimed his maiden professional victory at the 2009 Tour of Britain and his first Grand Tour start at the Giro d'Italia. After his neo-pro season, Swift says he has been able to establish a profile of the types of races that...

  • Boonen and teammates look for better weather in Spain

    Tom Boonen
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 9:50 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Quick Step riders head south for safer road conditions

    Tom Boonen has decided to flee from the snow, ice and below-freezing temperatures of northern Europe, and has flown to Spain with four of his Quick Step teammates.

    The entire team will gather in Calpe, Spain, next Monday, but the former World Champion has gone on ahead.

    “In light of the weather predictions, they wanted to leave early,” team manager Wilfried Peeters told Sportwereld.be. “It is an annual phenomenon. Once the holidays are over, the pros get nervous [about the treacherous conditions].

    “Tom trained last week on the hills around Gent, and also rode in the forests, but in Spain it is more comfortable and the cycling is less risky.”

    Further highlighting the precautions professionals are willing to take to prevent accidents in icy conditions, Peeters said Stijn Devolder had trained this week on his BMX bike as cold tempratures continued in Belgium.

  • Felt to provide bikes to UCI's World Cycling Centre

    Garmin-Slipstream's Felt DA bicycles at the ready.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 10:46 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    American company to provide 120 bikes to development programme

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) today announced an agreement with American bicycle manufacturer Felt that will see the company provide equipment to the UCI's World Cycling Centre (WCC).

    The WCC was set up in 2002, to provide coaching and support to cyclists from around the world, and has so far served 750 athletes from 113 countries. Under the terms of the partnership, Felt will provide 120 bicycles that will cover the WCC's road (road racing and time trialling), track, mountain biking and BMX programmes.

    "The World Cycling Centre is delighted with this new partnership which will benefit promising young riders in all the disciplines promoted at the WCC," said UCI President Pat McQuaid. "The UCI's training and coaching centre would simply not be able to fulfil its missions without the support of all its partners, and one of the most important of these is Felt."

    Felt, who provide bikes to ProTour team Garmin-Transitions and Mountain bike squad Ötztal X-Bionic, also expressed their satisfaction with the WCC deal. "We're very happy to be a sponsor of the extraordinary infrastructure [at the WCC] and to support the athletes training there," said Bill Duehring, President of Felt Bicycles.

    "We're especially proud to contribute to the success of riders from emerging countries who do not yet have the resources to allow them to achieve their Olympic dreams."

    The first of the bikes are due for deliver to the WCC this month. The agreement between the two will run until the end of 2012.
     

  • ASO set to take over Dauphiné Libéré?

    Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) won the Dauphiné Libéré for the second year in a row.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 11:05 GMT
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Reports in Spain claim the deal has been sealed

    One of cycling’s best-connected journalists has reported this morning that ASO is in the process of taking over the Dauphiné Libéré stage race. El País cycling correspondent Carlos Arribas says that sources close to the negotiations have confirmed that a deal has been sealed.

    If this is confirmed, ASO, which already owns the Tour de France, a majority share in the Tour of Spain and other events such as the Paris-Dakar rally, will control every major cycling event in France.

    Organised since 1947 by the regional newspaper whose name it carries, the Dauphiné Libéré has long been regarded as one of the most prestigious events on the racing calendar, particularly because it provides a useful guide to form running into the Tour. Taking place in early June each year, it is currently run by Thierry Cazeneuve, nephew of the event’s founder.

    Last year the group that controls the Dauphiné Libéré newspaper was bought by the L’Est Républicain media group based in north-east France. To mark this, the 2009 edition of the Dauphiné started well north of its traditional Alpine heartland in the city of Nancy.

    It has already been announced that the 2010 edition of the Dauphiné will feature a first-ever summit finish on Alpe d’Huez. This alone is sure to make it the Tour preparation race of choice for many Tour contenders. The news that ASO has taken over the event is likely to boost the level of participation still further, especially with so many teams pushing for wild card entry into the Tour de France.