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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Date published:
June 07, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Gilbert wants three-year-contract stability

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    June 06, 2011, 12:16 BST
    Cycling News

    Manager says decision not taken yet

    Philippe Gilbert is not in a hurry to sign a contract for next year. The new King of Belgian Classics is giving potential teams enough time to sort out their long-term finances, as his manager, Vincent Wathelet, pointed out that Gilbert's primary concern is a three-year deal and the stability that comes with it.

    "According to the rumour mill, it's already decided which jersey he will wear next year. But that's nonsense," Wathelet told Het Nieuwsblad. "We have time, and we also want to know how things stand for the projects of Lotto, Omega Pharma and Quick Step. Philippe wants financial guarantees over three seasons."

    At the beginning of this season, Patrick Lefevere's Quick Step team secured its financial backing until 2013 through the involvement of Czech billionnaire and cycling fan Zdenek Bakala. As to Omega Pharma, the commitment to the sport of the Belgian pharmaceutical company is unbroken despite its recently announced split from co-sponsor Lotto, who still has to find further backing for next season.

    Other than the Belgian teams, who want to secure Gilbert for obvious national reasons and who are also the rider's favourites, several international squads are highly interested in the Classics specialist, including Team Sky and Rabobank.

    "There are not many teams around at the moment who can guarantee that they will continue for the next three years, who have the budget to do so and where he would feel at ease on a sporting level," added Wathelet, who also said that Gilbert did not want "any options whatsoever" in his new contract. "Options are not legal for the International Cycling Union."

  • Kelderman the next Dutch climbing sensation

    Wilco Kelderman (Rabobank Continental) heads on stage.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2011, 13:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Rabobank Continental 20-year-old wins Tour of Norway

    Wilco Kelderman is the next wonder to emerge from the Rabobank Continental team. The Dutchman, only 20 years old, took the overall victory in the Tour of Norway this weekend, and is now looking forward to tackling the high mountains in upcoming races.

    Kelderman is in his second year with the Dutch team, and has already signed to ride for the Rabobank ProTeam next year. He didn't win any stages in Norway, but finished no lower than 10th on any of the stages. He took over the race lead on the second stage.

    "I felt strong today, but I also think that the team has made a solid effort. It was tough to keep the jersey. It's an incredible feeling. I have fought hard for the past three days," Kelderman told after the race.

    He is an acknowledged climber, but that is not all. Directeur Sportif Arthur van Dongen calls him the complete all-rounder. “There is no doubt that he is a great talent. I would compare him to Lars Boom and Edvald Boasson Hagen. Wilco is a very strong all-rounder. He is doing well in the climbs and is a highly skilled time trialist.”

    Van Dongen has the highest expectations for his protégé. “Lars Boom won the prologue the Critérium du Dauphiné today. Next year, Wilco will do the same.”

    Kelderman himself remains more modest about his future. “I certainly want to try myself in a race like Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de Suisse next year,” he said. “I don't think I'll ride the Giro d'Italia or Tour de France for two or three years yet.”

    It hasn't been an easy year for the young rider. He broke a collarbone early in the...

  • Video: David Millar talks about his autobiography

    David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) en route to a 5th place finish.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2011, 15:04 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Scot reveals the highs and lows of his career

    David Millar's career has been a roller coaster of success and shame, of regret and resurrection. He pulled on the yellow jersey at the Tour de France and won the 2003 world time trial title but was then caught up in a doping investigation and served a two-year ban for doping. He has since made a complete comeback and is both a successful rider and a role model for his peers and many cycling fans.

    Millar has now revealed details of his career in his autobiography called 'Racing through the dark: The fall and rise of David Millar'. He wrote the book himself with advice and editing from former ProCycling editor Jeremy Whittle.

    "There is some stuff in there that will be a be shocking to people but I think it'll open peoples' eyes about what professional cycling is really like," Millar tells Cyclingnews in this video interview.

    "But I think people need to know that the sport has been in some pretty dark places and that I've been in some dark places too."

    "My career and where I am today, is very representative of cycling as a whole. I think my story will help understand the beauty but also the darkness that was there was years. I hope it's an enjoyable read too."

  • Van den Broeck relieved after first pro win

    A Lotto success: Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    Article published:
    June 06, 2011, 22:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian on track to repeat his top five at the Tour de France

    Jurgen Van den Broeck may have become a Tour de France favorite after finishing fifth overall in 2010, but he has had to wait until age 28 and his eighth season as a profession cyclist before winning his first pro bike race.

    "This is a relief," said Van den Broeck after winning stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné on the uphill finish of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. "It's even more of a relief because this is a mountain stage and it's at the Dauphiné, so it adds some value to what I did."

    Van den Broeck reacted to Kanstantsin Sivtsov's attack with seven kilometres to go. "When I heard my directeur sportif saying 'Go', I just went and I've given everything. It wasn't a day to calculate. I've suffered a lot, especially in the last kilometre." The Belgian courageously resisted the chase from Joaquim Rodriguez, who probably waited too long.

    Rodriguez crossed the line five seconds after "VDBke" - the little VDB, not to be confused with the late Frank Vandenbroucke - was fuming after the finish. "I've missed the victory by very little," the Spaniard said. "Unfortunately, it's not the first time it happened this year. I've put in a strong performance, but for me, places and podiums are worth nothing here. Only victory counts."

    Van den Broeck is exactly the type of rider who has plenty of experience not winning. "I've tried many times before I managed to win today," said the 2001 junior time trial world champion. "I've had a lot of second places, and it didn't please me. Sometimes, I've lacked the foundation."

    "This is a great confidence booster for the Tour de France. That remains my true goal. I really needed to win. It doesn't change my status in the team because everyone was going to work for me anyway."

    Omega Pharma-Lotto has the...

  • Sky bounces back at the Dauphiné

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) is British TT champion.
    Article published:
    June 07, 2011, 0:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Wiggins and Boasson Hagen in contention for GC

    After a mediocre showing at the Giro d'Italia, Team Sky has much higher ambitions at the Dauphiné. The British team started on a high note with Bradley Wiggins (4th) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (5th) both in the top five overall after the prologue and stage 1.

    The Norwegian took the white jersey of best young rider at Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse.

    "I was feeling quite good in the final climb but the last 300 metres were really hard," Boasson Hagen commented at the finish. "It was complicated to follow all the attacks. Our team did a really good job for closing the gaps. Our tactic today was for me to attempt the stage win and Bradley Wiggins to follow closely."

    The white jersey was a reward and a bit of compensation - "I was just unlucky to ride my prologue under the rain but there's not much I could do about that," he added. "I was still happy with my legs, and I am today as well. But my main goal at the Dauphiné is to help Bradley."

    Team Sky's directeur sportif Nicolas Portal confirmed to Cyclingnews that the team has high ambitions for the the Dauphiné.

    "We haven't set a precise place as an objective but we want Bradley to finish the highest possible on GC," the Frenchman said. "We have a strong team here. We'll do the maximum for Bradley. It's important for the morale, for the team spirit, for the Tour de France, for everything that's coming up."

    While Wiggins' competitiveness was expected, Sky welcomed Boasson Hagen's return on a climbing form one year after winning a hard stage in Sallanches and Rigoberto Uran's dedication to the team's interest. When the race became hard in the final climb with many...

  • Cromwell's season of uncertainty ends with move to Hitec Products-UCK

    Tiffany Cromwell (Honda) was aggressive at the front in the early part of the race.
    Article published:
    June 07, 2011, 1:24 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian considered hanging up the bike

    Tiffany Cromwell is hoping that a mid-season move to Norweigan outfit Hitec Products-UCK will bring the turn-around she has been craving, following the announcement that the Australian has prematurely ended her contract with Lotto-Honda.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews from Spain's Basque Country where she was doing a photo shoot for Specialized, the 22-year-old explained that the move to Hitec Products-UCK has been relatively quick, as opposed to the lingering feeling that Belgian team wasn't the right fit.

    Cromwell received an offer while in Milan for the final day of the Giro d'Italia, where she was supporting boyfriend, Richie Porte.

    "I had some ups and downs I wasn't motivated," she revealed. "I had some bad luck in races too. It was the first time I'd really thought about hanging up the bike – it wasn't fun."

    With just 10 days of racing since she arrived in Europe in February, Cromwell was frustrated. The year had started well, winning the second stage of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic in Portarlington but a mix of injury, illness, bad luck and lack of opportunity stifled the season.

    "There were going to be opportunities on this team [Lotto-Honda], we had a sprinter n Rochelle [Gilmore] but we didn't really have a GC rider," Cromwell explained, a position she believed she could fill.

    "I didn't get to race in any of the big races which I had big goals for like Tour of Flanders. I wasn't able to get a Visa for China - it would have meant a month and a half without racing and then there was Spain this weekend and I got pulled out of that race," she continued. "There was just a lot of miscommunication on...

  • Cavendish uses British Road Race Championships as Tour warm-up

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) after his stage win
    Article published:
    June 07, 2011, 4:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Manxman aiming for first national road title

    HTC-Highroad's Mark Cavendish will be aiming for his first national road title when he lines up in the British Road Race Championships later this month.

    In the lead up to his appearance in the Tour de France, where he has amassed 15 stage wins, Cavendish will use both the Leazes Criteriums (Friday 24 June) in Newcastle and the National Elite Road Race Championships (Sunday 26 June) in Northumberland as warm-up events.

    Last year, Team Sky's Geraint Thomas claimed the first professional victory of his career in the event in Lancashire, outsprinting teammate Peter Kennaugh for the victory.

    Cavendish has racked up four wins so far this season, opening his account with stage 6 of the Tour of Oman, and then going on to win the Scheldeprijs for the third time in his career. Last month, Cavendish won the 10th and 12th stages of the Giro d'Italia.


  • Launceston to New Norfolk joins National Road Teams Series

    Riders head up the climb at Poatina during the 208-kilometre Launceston to New Norfolk One-Day Classic.
    Article published:
    June 07, 2011, 6:17 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Brutal classic looking for a third champion

    With two tough years behind it, the Launceston to New Norfolk Classic has been elevated to National Road Teams Series status.

    The race replaced the Launceston to Hobart in 2009 and soon developed a reputation for its difficult course with just seven of a 76-strong field, making it to the finish line. That day, Tasmanian Bernard Sulzberger took the spoils, riding for V Australia.

    Victorian Pat Shaw won the 2010 edition of the race.

    "I never knew much about this event until today but, boy, it's one of the best bike races in Australia," Shaw exclaimed after crossing the line. "The course is so tough."

    The event, which also gains a new major sponsor in 2011 – Elgas which will open its Tasmanian operations in Launceston shortly, is now one of 11 races on the National Road Teams Series. The others being Mersey Valley Tour, Canberra Tour, Tour of Toowoomba, Tour of Gippsland, Tour of Geelong, Tour of the Murray, Goulburn to Citi, Tour of Tasmania, Grafton to Inverell, Melbourne to Warrnambool, Shipwreck Coast and Emerald Lakes.

    Cycling Tasmania president Noel Pearce described the Launceston to New Norfolk Classic as an event that "all riders should have a crack at."

    "It's an unforgettable experience for the riders, officials, sponsors and the media... I believe this event is destined for greatness in Australian cycling."

    After departing Launceston, the race follows a course through Pateena, Longford, Cressy, Poatina, Arthur's Lake, St. Patrick's Plains, Steppes, Bothwell, Berridale, Hollow Tree, Rosegarland, Gretna and Hayes before finishing at Derwent Valley Council chambers.

    There will be 13 intermediate sprints and seven hill climbs along the route, with the King of Poatina award going to the rider first up the 10...