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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Date published:
May 11, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Evans frustrated after losing the pink jersey

    Cadel Evans (BMC), who started the day in the maglia rosa, crosses the finish line.
    Article published:
    May 10, 2010, 18:49 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    World Champion delayed by late crash

    Cadel Evans (BMC) fought like a lion to get back to the front group after being caught up in a crash 20km from finish, but lost 46 seconds to his overall rivals and just like eight years ago, he lost the pink jersey just 24 hours after taking it.

    Then he was a young, inexperienced road racer and lost any chance of victory in the Giro. Now he is one of the best stage race riders in the world and will surely still be a threat to main rivals Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo).

    Evans is now 43 seconds behind Vinokourov and 25 seconds behind Basso. He is 57 seconds ahead of Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) but that was little comfort after a difficult and nervous day in the saddle.

    "It's very frustrating. You do everything you can to avoid crashes but when five crash in front of you and they take you out from behind, what can you do?" said Evans.

    "I'd done everything right. I was at the front, I was in the echelon and I got through it all. I wasn't worried because there wasn't any wind, and so I didn't expect to crash 20km from the finish, we weren't even going that fast. Then I was isolated and it was quite nervewracking being there on my own with 40 guys. If I'd punctured or something, what could I have done?"

    Evans pointed out that the large amount of road furniture, that often marks bike paths and protects cyclists from other roads users, was one of the main causes of the many cashes in the Giro.

    "It's definitely too dangerous in terms of the race," Evan said. "Sometimes you have to wonder when on a dead straight road they crash like that, if riders don't know how to ride their bikes anymore or they don't know how concentrate or something. Obviously the traffic islands are very cycling friendly for commuters but there are a lot of things on the road from the peloton because were so small and low. That adds to the problems."

    "I don't know what caused the crash. There was a big crash...

  • Wiggins loses four minutes after Giro crash

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky Professional Cycling Team)
    Article published:
    May 10, 2010, 19:36 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Briton explains why he believes Vinokourov should be allowed to race

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) lost nearly all chance of overall success in the Giro d'Italia on the windswept roads of southern Holland after being caught up in a mass-crash of his team in the final kilometres of the stage.

    Wiggins lost 3:59 to new leader Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) and is now 55th overall, 4:28 behind the Kazakhstani rider.

    Team Sky had ridden well for most of the stage, keeping Wiggins out of trouble in placing him in the front group with Vinokourov. However there was nothing he could do to avoid the crash. Fortunately he wasn't hurt.

    "I'll be alright. That's the way it goes. Matt Hayman went down in the corner, and we all went down," he said as he boarded the coach taking the riders to Oostende airport for the flight to Italy.

    "Today was a different from yesterday's stage. It was a bit more selective because of the course and the bike racing. It was just the strong guys at the front and the guys who couldn't hold it weren't at the front."

    Greg Henderson and Dario Cioni also crashed, Henderson was in pain as he climbed on the bus but Wiggins insisted Team Sky would bounce back and be ready to try and win the team time trial on Wednesday.

    "We're all fine. We'll be alright for Wednesday," he said.

    "That's the Giro. It's always like that. There's so much road furniture and thing in the road. It's lethal really and everyone just gets so nervous when it's like that."

    Clarification about Vinokourov

    While Wiggins was getting showered and changing for the transfer, Vinokourov was pulling on the pink jersey and in the spot light as new race leader.

    Some people were surprised that Wiggins had in some way defended Vinokourov during the press conference after he won the time trial stage on Saturday. It seemed that he was in some way supportive that Vinokourov was back, despitethe Astana rider never being repentant for the damage his blood doping in the 2007...

  • Lampre's lamentable day in Holland

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) lost 37 seconds to Evans and Vinokourov today
    Article published:
    May 11, 2010, 8:52 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Bad luck batters Italian squad before the rest day

    Yesterday's Giro d'Italia stage from Amsterdam to Middleburg was another testing journey for the Lampre-Farnese Vini squad. Damiano Cunego was caught in a bunch that trailed the maglia rosa for a long time, Alessandro Petacchi suffered an ill-timed puncture while Danilo Hondo missed out on a podium spot.

    As expected, the wind and narrow roads of the Netherlands made for tough racing and Lampre's riders suffered the full effects of both. With 75km remaining they had to ride hard to get Cunego back in touch with the peloton, an effort that took 40km; behind them Petacchi was chasing to recover from a puncture that put him out of contention for the sprint.

    Directeur sportif Fabrizio Bontempi explained the bad luck that hit his team on several fronts and the circumstances that conspired to batter the squad, much like the wind did to all riders during the 224km journey next to the North Sea.

    "We knew it was going to be a tough stage, so we asked our riders to be together in case of troubles and it's what they did when Damiano had problems," said Bontempi. "The team performed a good chase but the bad luck hit us again immediately again with Petacchi's puncture; [Marco] Marzano was ready to give Alessandro his wheel, since it was impossible to reach them by car because of the narrow streets.

    "The chase was performed with a huge effort, but our riders were very tired and HTC-Columbia raised the pace at the head of the race. When we understood that Petacchi could not join the head of the race, Hondo became our man for the sprint - Danilo gave his best using his remaining energies and he obtained a good fourth place."

    Petacchi explained that not only bad luck bothered him during the stage, but illness had also started to rear its ugly head. "Yesterday I made a mistake, but today the bad luck stopped me. I had a puncture in the worst moment and I could not do anything else than try a very difficult chase. I hope that the beginning of...

  • Worlds warm up event announced

    Vai, vai, vai, Cadel! Evans gives it the lot in the final kilometres.
    Article published:
    May 11, 2010, 8:59 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Big names will ride in Ballarat before 2010 world titles

    Victorian Sports Minister James Merlino today launched the Herald Sun World Cycling Classic Ballarat as a warm up event for the 2010 UCI Road World Championships, which will be held in Geelong, Australia, September 29 - October 3.

    The new event, to be held on September 26, was announced today by the Minister plus City of Ballarat Mayor Judy Verlin and Melbourne 2010 Organising Committee General Manager Michael Palmer.

    Starting and finishing at Buninyong, the course will travel a 16km circuit with the final lap following the road race course used for the Australian Open Road Championships.

    "Cycling in Ballarat continues to go from strength to strength and the Herald Sun World Cycling Classic will reaffirm the city’s position as a world-class venue for road cycling," said Merlino.

    "The Brumby Labor Government is proud to support major sporting events that place our regional centres in the national and international spotlight, promote sport and boost tourism."

    The Herald Sun World Cycling Classic Ballarat will feature an elite women's and combined elite/under-23 men's race and pending the number of entries from World Championship participants additional invitations may be issued to elite riders and registered continental and pro continental teams.

    Of the race itself Palmer said, "The course has been designed to ensure that it is not too tough, but still provides a solid hit out and an opportunity for riders to acclimatise to Australian conditions. Having the final lap on the testing nationals circuit will give them a taste of what to expect in Geelong the following week."

    Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks is excited about the prospect of additional racing from the world's best riders in Australia. "The Herald Sun World Cycling Classic Ballarat is not only a bonus for the cyclists preparing for their World Championships campaign but for fans who will have an added opportunity to see their heroes in...

  • Fly V Australia faces tough California selection

    Phil Zajicek (Fly V Australia) comes across the line 16 seconds off the pace.
    Article published:
    May 11, 2010, 9:14 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Updated: final roster announced for Australian Continental squad

    Fly V Australia’s early domination of the National Racing Calendar (NRC) series left its management with the difficult job of selecting its eight-man team for the upcoming Amgen Tour of California, set to begin in Nevada City on May 16.

    “My job is going to be very hard to pick the final team for the Tour of California,” said Fly V Australia directeur sportif Henk Vogels. “There are so many good guys right now but, that’s a great problem to have.

    “This all started back in November and we’ve had four training camps this year, including one which was for the Tour of California,” he added. “We stuck to the NRC program whereas other teams went overseas. We’ve had a split program with some guys racing the criteriums on the east coast, some at the Tour of Gila and some at the Joe Martin Stage Race.”

    Fly V Australia has selected an eight-man roster, including: Jonathan Cantwell, Benjamin Day, Charles Dionne, Aaron Kemps, Darren Lill, Bernard Sulzberger, Jay Robert Thomson and Phil Zaijek. Team technical director Ed Beamon warned that the roster could still change before the race’s start.

    “The roster might change a little bit before the start of the race, but it really has been agonizing for us to pick the right squad,” Beamon said. “We based it on team goals and ambitions at the race. I really think that we could have chosen any one of the 12 guys and been confident and able to deliver on our goals. It’s hard when you know you have guys that could essentially be starting the race on another team and you have to leave them behind because you can only start eight.”

    In the end, Lill was chosen over Jai Crawford as the only change to the preliminary roster announced earlier. “In the end we believe that we have chosen a well balanced team to achieve our objectives," said the team's managing director Chris White.

    ...
  • Chavanel recovering well after Liège crash

    Sylvain Chavanel answers questions from the media.
    Article published:
    May 11, 2010, 9:56 BST
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Frenchman to resume light training next week

    Quick Step rider Sylvain Chavanel, badly injured following a crash in Liège-Bastogne-Liège two weeks ago, is recovering well. The Frenchman suffered a fracture at the base of his skull and a broken tooth, and will be out of competition for at least another six weeks.

    But latest reports of his recovery are promising, as Chavanel has returned to his home in Châtellerault, France after doctors removed his stitches and repaired the tooth. He is still wearing a neck brace, but will be able to do some very light training as of next week on his home trainer.

    "The first days were difficult because of the headaches, but it's slowly getting better. Fortunately, the tests they performed on my nervous system are re-assuring," Chavanel told L'Equipe on Sunday. "I'm in good spirits, which is the most important thing."

    Depending on further tests, Chavanel hopes to return on the road soon, but remained cautious. "Right now, road riding wouldn't be a good idea because of the vibrations. I don't know if I will recover faster than initially thought, but I don't want to rush anything."
     

  • Vacansoleil confident of sponsorship extension

    The Vacansoleil team
    Article published:
    May 11, 2010, 10:32 BST
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Dutch team hunting for second sponsor, Grand Tour starts

    Vacansoleil is looking forward to securing regular participation in cycling's Grand Tours, as they prepare to extend their contract with their title sponsor beyond 2011. Management at the Dutch Pro Continental team have also commenced a search for a co-sponsor to help secure the team's future.

    Camping holiday company Vacansoleil signed-on as the team's title sponsor at the start of 2009, and increased their financial commitment to the team at the end of last season. The current contract is due to expire at the end of next year, but Vacansoleil press officer Frank Kwanten told Cyclingnews the team can reach an early agreement to extend the partnership.

    "At the team presentation in January Vacansoleil CEO Wim Backers told the media there he was looking forward to a sponsorship of six to seven years, so that means it's three to four year's we're looking at extending," said Kwanten on Tuesday.

    "We haven't yet confirmed an extension with Vacansoleil, but the intention is there."

    Vacansoleil had hoped to secure an invitation to the 2010 Tour de France, but despite a strong start to this season the team were overlooked by race organiser Amaury Sports Organisation. Kwanten said the team has commenced a search for a second sponsor, as they target regular participation in cycling's major events.

    "We're looking at securing a second partner to make sure that the team continues," he said. "We're looking forward; hopefully we can keep our good results going and make our way into the big tours."

    Last year, the team signed French brothers Brice and Romain Feillu as part of its ultimately unsuccessful attempt to secure a Tour invite. Kwanten indicated that if the current sponsorship re-negotiations prove successful, the team may be in a position to recruit a general classification contender to help boost its chances even further.

    "If you can get a big name rider like Cervélo did with Carlos Sastre, or BMC...

  • Lefevere wants team to build on Giro success

    Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    May 11, 2010, 11:21 BST
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Quick Step manager believes Weylandt can win at the Tour

    Patrick Lefevere has praised Wouter Weylandt's stage three win at the Giro d'Italia, but is hopeful that the Belgian sprinter's win will breed further success amongst the Quick Step team.

    "[Weylandt] has earned this victory himself, so congratulations to him," Lefevere told Sporza. "Victories are bread and water for a sprinter. I hope that he and the team can use this to build towards a good season."

    In March, Weylandt had come under fire from Lefevere for his lack of results throughout the second half of the 2009 season and the start of this year. The 25-year-old's victory over Graeme Brown (Rabobank) in Middelberg on Monday was his first win in 14 months.

    "His first quarter was not enough, but I also said that he had six months to make it good," said Lefevere. "I was confident that he would respond on the bike. I like a rider who lets his legs do the talking.

    "It also reflects well upon Wouter. But he needed the wake-up call; after four [five - sic] years as a professional he had to step-up a level."

    Lefevere is keen not to see Weylandt rest on his Giro laurels. The Belgian has now secured stage victories at the Vuelta a España (2008, stage 17) and the Giro, but his team manager believes he can, and should, add a Tour de France stage win to his palmares.

    "He can win at the Tour," he said. "Someone who can win in the Vuelta and the Giro, should be able to claim victory at the Tour too; I think he can.

    "I also believe that Wouter's personal ambitions also extend beyond a stage victory in the Giro. I hope this is the start of something good that is yet to come."